CME's Bitcoin Futures to Launch December 18

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A Cboe spokesperson initially told CNBC the bitcoin futures launch is expected "probably before the end of the year", but later clarified, saying the exchange could not know a specific date.

At the same time, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also announced that Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) has self-certified new contracts for Bitcoin futures products, and that the Cantor Exchange (Cantor) has self-certified a new contract for Bitcoin binary options.

The agency said the exchanges agreed to modify the derivatives contracts and promised to coordinate with the CFTC and each other to guard against market manipulation and other irregularities.

Christopher Giancarlo said after "extensive discussions with the exchanges" they "agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets". There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets. The unique products will start trading on Monday, December 18, 2017, and offer investors the chance to bet on the price direction of bitcoin without needing physical access to the cryptocurrency.

The CFTC said it had "rigorous" discussions with the Merc during the past six.

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The regulator will monitor trading in these products and will assess whether any changes are needed to the contract design and settlement processes.

"Nevertheless", Giancarlo added, "investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts".

The Commission says once the contracts are launched, the CFTC staff will engage in risk-monitoring activities.

Derivatives marketplace operator CME Group will launch a bitcoin futures product on December 18, ending speculation as to when the much-anticipated offering would be available on the USA markets. The activities will include monitoring and analyzing the size and development of the market, positions and change in positions over time, open interest, initial margin requirements, and variation margin payments.

The agreement with the exchanges does not mean the CFTC endorses the digital currency or the various trading products, he said.

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