The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is happy with the results of its Bitcoin options trading product launch on Jan. 13, according to CME Group’s managing director and global head of equity index alternative investment products Tim McCourt. 

First days of new options offering a success

“We’re very pleased with how day one went,” McCourt told Cointelegraph in a Jan. 14 interview. “We’ve had positive feedback from customers on day one,” he pointed out, also noting success and progress on day two.  

“Yesterday, we did a total of 55 options contracts, worth 275 Bitcoin,” the managing director said. “Each option is on one future, and one future is worth five Bitcoin at CME, so a little over $2 million in terms of notional value, which is great to see,” he added. 

As of the 2:40 EST interview, CME's Bitcoin options had already posted 15 contracts on Globex, CME's "electronic trading system," McCourt said.

As planned

In fall 2019, the Chicago-based exchange announced its plans to launch a Bitcoin options trading product early in 2020, based on CME’s underlying Bitcoin futures trading product. 

After receiving the green light from regulators, CME launched its Bitcoin options trading product on Jan. 13, 2020, Cointelegraph reported yesterday

McCourt expressed excitement at seeing a successful first outing for the new product in response to his team’s work, as well as customer involvement. 

McCourt added that CME hit its desired launch targets relating to “having volume, having block trades, having markets develop throughout the day,” as well as having “those markets be reasonably tight in terms of discovering a price that keeps in line with the futures throughout the day.” 

Years in the making

CME’s Bitcoin options product has been a long time coming.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about with our customers since the launch of Bitcoin futures,” McCourt said. 

At the height of crypto’s largest bull market in December 2017, CME launched its cash-settled Bitcoin futures trading product as one of the mainstream financial world’s first major entries into crypto exposure.