Major derivatives marketplace Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group will launch options trading for its micro Bitcoin and Ether futures products.
In a Tuesday announcement, the CME Group said that subject to regulatory review, it plans to launch options contracts for its existing micro Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) futures that will be 10% the size of the respective tokens. The futures options, expected to start trading on March 28, will come more than two years after the firm launched a BTC options trading product in January 2020 and more than four years since the group launched the first Bitcoin futures contract in December 2017.
“Building on the strength and liquidity of the underlying contracts, our micro-sized options will enable traders of all sizes to efficiently hedge market-moving events with greater precision and flexibility or fine-tune their cryptocurrency market exposure," said CME Group’s global head of equity and FX products, Tim McCourt.
The micro Ether futures contract, which CME launched in December 2021, is sized at 0.1 ETH, while the Bitcoin futures contracts are sized at 0.1 BTC and have been trading since May 2021. According to the CME Group, the minimum block threshold for options are 10 contracts for micro BTC and 100 for micro ETH. Genesis Global Trading, Cumberland and Akuna Capital are expected to provide liquidity for the crypto investment vehicles.
Related: CME Group introduces micro-Bitcoin futures
The announcement came following the price of BTC rising more than 15% from the $38,000s to a 7-day high of $44,816. The ETH price experienced similar gains, moving to a two-week high above $3,000, according to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro. The price movement could be related, in part, to the financial impacts of the Ukrainian war, which has resulted in speculation the Russian government may attempt to use digital assets to circumvent sanctions.