Largest US options exchange plans to launch bitcoin (BTC) derivatives

CBOE teams up with digital currency exchange Gemini, awaits regulatory approval

Largest US options exchange plans to launch bitcoin (BTC) derivatives

The Chicago Board Options Exchange has revealed plans to launch its own bitcoin derivatives trading products by early next year, The Wall Street Journal has reported. To realise its plans, the largest US options exchange has struck an agreement with Gemini Trust, the digital currency exchange founded by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

Under the terms of the agreement, CBOE will have a multiyear exclusive global license permitting it to use Gemini’s market data in the creation of bitcoin derivatives products, the company explained in a press release.

Pending review by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CBOE plans to start offering cash-settled bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of this year, or in early 2018. CBOE Holdings’ chief executive officer Ed Tilly commented:

“We very much look forward to responding to the growing interest in cryptocurrencies through the creation of bitcoin futures traded on a regulated derivatives exchange.”

In its own report on the story, CNBC quoted CBOE Holdings’ chief strategy officer John Deters, who expressed confidence about the future of cryptocurrencies.

"We've really come to the conclusion recently that cryptocurrencies are here to stay," he said.

CBOE’s announcement comes just over a week after the CFTC granted digital currency-trading platform LedgerX, the first licence to clear and settle derivative contracts on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. LedgerX’s chief executive officer Paul L. Chou said at the time that his company would start offering bitcoin options in the autumn, with a roll-out of ethereum options to follow “within few months”.

The bitcoin price has remained stable in today’s trading, despite the hard fork on Tuesday that split the cryptocurrency’s blockchain. As of 14:44 BST, bitcoin (BTC) was trading at 2,754.23, up 1.3 percent from the same time yesterday, according to data from Coinmarketcap.

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