The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or CME, has unveiled plans to launch a new Bitcoin (BTC) derivatives product that will enable traders to speculate on fractional units of the flagship digital currency.
CME Group’s Micro Bitcoin futures contract, which is set to launch May 3 pending regulatory approval, will be worth 0.1 BTC. The smaller contract size provides market participants with an additional tool to hedge their Bitcoin price risk, CME said Tuesday. CME’s current Bitcoin contract unit is 5 BTC.
Tim McCourt, CME Group’s global head of equity index and alternative investment products, explained:
“The introduction of Micro Bitcoin futures responds directly to demand for smaller-sized contracts from a broad array of clients and will offer even more choice and precision in how participants can trade regulated Bitcoin futures in a transparent and efficient manner at CME Group.”
CME launched its Bitcoin futures contract in December 2017. The Chicago Board Options Exchange, Its larger crosstown rival, was the first to introduce the derivatives contract during the same month but has since abandoned Bitcoin futures altogether.
CME has noted a steady uptick in crypto derivatives trading since the first Bitcoin futures contract launched more than three years ago. As Cointelegraph previously reported, average daily trade volumes for CME Bitcoin futures jumped 57% in January. Interest is likely to accelerate as the Bitcoin bull market brings new investors into the fold.
There’s also evidence that the broader crypto derivatives market is heating up. In December 2020, crypto derivatives trades were valued at more than $1.3 trillion, accounting for 55% of the overall market, according to CoinMarketCap.