On April 17, derivatives marketplace Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group announced it would broaden its range of cryptocurrency options by adding new options to its standard and micro-sized Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) contracts. Pending regulatory review, these new contracts will be available from May 22, and expiries will be available every day of the business week from Monday to Friday.
According to the announcement, CME Group’s expanded suite of cryptocurrency options will include new expiry dates for Bitcoin and Ether futures contracts. These options will now expire every day from Monday to Friday, providing traders with greater flexibility to manage short-term price risks. Furthermore, options on micro-sized Bitcoin and Ether futures contracts will add Tuesday and Thursday expiries to their existing Monday, Wednesday and Friday contracts. The newly added expiries will complement the existing monthly and quarterly expiries that are already available across all Bitcoin and Ether options on futures contracts.
The move, according to CME Group, is aimed at providing market participants with greater precision and versatility in managing short-term Bitcoin and Ether price risk. It also comes at a time of heightened market volatility in the digital asset sector.
CME Group's Bitcoin and Ether futures and options complex has already achieved a record daily average notional of more than $3 billion through Q1 2023. This signifies an increase in client demand for liquid hedging tools. The complex achieved other trading highlights as well, including a record 11,500 contracts and open interest, with a record average of 24,094 contracts for Bitcoin futures and options in Q1 2023. In addition, CME Group’s Bitcoin and Ether futures and options have a surge in trading volumes, with a record 2,357 Bitcoin options contracts traded on March 22 and a record open interest (OI) of 14,700 contracts on March 31.
CME Group introduced its first BTC futures contract in December 2017, followed by an ETH futures contract in February 2021. To cater to the increasing demand for cryptocurrency investment options, the exchange expanded its offerings in 2022 to include micro BTC and ETH futures. Additionally, it launched euro-denominated BTC and ETH futures when the euro was trading at parity with the United Statesdollar, which is currently worth around $1 per euro at the time of writing.
As at the time of publication, the price of ETH is at $2,085 and the price of BTC is at $29,503, falling below its previous high of $30,000.