According to reports, upcoming startup CME launched two indexes this Monday for tracking Ether, fueling speculation that the world’s most significant futures exchange may yet start another virtual currency futures product soon.
Here’s What We Know
According to CME’s global head of equity products and alternative investments, Tim McCourt, the company doesn’t have any plans to create Ethereum futures although the recently launched structure indexes are similar to those behind CME’s BTC futures. McCourt who also serves as the company’s managing director said:
“Our focus right now at CME is on the index.”
The two indexes that were launched this Monday are the company’s CF Ether-Dollar Reference fee, which prints a price at 11 a.m. ET every day and also the CME CF Ether-Dollar Real-Time Index. The rates of both indexes will be calculated by the UK-based exchange Digital Currency Facilities according to transaction data collected from Bitstamp and Kraken, two major virtual currency exchanges in the country.
CME Bitcoin Futures
CME only launched Bitcoin futures back in mid-December 2017, just over one year after starting BTC indexes. Many expected that the futures would bring more institutional investors, and help send bitcoin prices over the top. However, the digital currency traded around 8,700 this Monday, which is less than half of its record high of 19,000 USD in December last year.
Ethereum traded near $730, down about 45 percent from its record hit earlier this year, according to Coinbase. The coin is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Ethereum, on the other hand, is “something that few exchanges have shown an interest in listing derivatives,” according to Brian Quintenz, the commissioner of the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) on Monday at the Consensus digital currency conference. He added:
“The decision must be made judiciously.”
CME’s Bitcoin futures trading volume was initially sluggish. However, it has since spiked to a record high of 10,000 contracts. It’s composite volume this Monday was 5,000 contracts.