CME Group Inc. ’s Tim McCourt said the exchange has put safeguards such as higher margin levels and limits on positions and prices in place to curb risks on the bitcoin futures it plans to offer.
The exchange would also be able to adjust margin and capital levels during trading sessions, McCourt, head of equity products at the CME, said at a Coindesk-sponsored conference in New York. The controls he outlined are used by the CME on other futures contracts for equities and commodities.
The world’s largest exchange owner said in October it plans to introduce bitcoin futures by the end of the year, a move that is seen as a key step in opening the asset to institutional investors. The price of the largest cryptocurrency, which has climbed about 10-fold this year, has surged since the announcement.
The CME has said contracts will settle in cash and use a daily price from the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, which is supported by digital exchanges Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken. Cboe Global Markets Inc. said earlier this year that it was going to begin a bitcoin futures contract by year-end or early 2018, and awaits approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
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