CME Group Inc (CME) Will Launch Bitcoin Futures On Dec. 18

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The CME announcement came as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it will allow the world's largest futures exchange and its competitor, the Cboe Futures Exchange, to launch bitcoin contracts.

A federal regulator gave the go ahead on Friday to the CME Group to start trading bitcoin futures later this month, the first time the digital currency will be traded on a Wall Street exchange and subject to federal oversight.

The futures exchanges must coordinate to help spot market manipulation, flash rallies, trading outages and other problems on the unregulated exchanges where bitcoin is traded, as they could affect futures prices, he said in a statement. The reveal comes just weeks after CME indicated via its website that it would launch the product on December 11, before retracting the remarks.

"Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is a commodity unlike any the Commission has dealt with in the past", said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo in a press release.

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The new contract will be accessible to traders via the CME Globex electronic trading platform, and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort.

The regulator will monitor trading in these products and will assess whether any changes are needed to the contract design and settlement processes. While CFTC approval isn't required, the regulatory body could have halted the CME's plans if it wasn't satisfied with the self-certification.

These new derivatives open the doors for institutional investors, as well as introducing the possibility of more cryptocurrencies becoming available in the future. On Wednesday, bitcoin smashed through $10,000 USA before rocketing past $11,000 United States less than 12 hours later to an all time-high of $11,395 U.S., and then plunging around 20 percent in the hours that followed.

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