CME Sees 54 Options on Bitcoin Futures Traded in Debut

(Bloomberg) -- CME Group Inc. traded 54 options on Bitcoin futures during the debut session for the contracts.

The options provide the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a specified amount of coins within a set time period. CME Group was among the first U.S. regulated exchanges to offer Bitcoin futures in 2018.

“The launch of listed options on futures is a significant step in the direction of increasing exposure to Bitcoin,” said Mike McGlone, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “Options are only launched and tradable on a liquid underlying and the trend in BTC futures on the CME is increasing volume and open interest.”

However, the first day of trading might be irrelevant -- the first weeks and months might be more material, added McGlone.

Strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou said last week that while volumes and open interest on a rival exchange known as Bakkt have been “rather small,” the new offering could be a game changer.

“Although it takes time to grow any new market, we’re pleased with the response from customers and market participants so far,” Tim McCourt, global head of equity index products at Chicago-based CME, said in a statement to Bloomberg.

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