It's been known for a while that the CBOE, or the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and the CME, or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, have been planning on launching Bitcoin contracts. Both companies have now released some preliminary details about their upcoming futures trading products of the cryptocurrency.
The CBOE released a statement announcing that they intend to offer Bitcoin futures products under the ticker XBT. CBOE will set the tick, which is the smallest possible price fluctuation, at $10, and the contracts offered will be 1 BTC. CBOE CFA Russell Rhoads has also had some interesting comments to make on the future of Bitcoin:
“I’ve done academic work on the launch of new listed products in the past and prior assumptions about new markets often are off the mark. I’ve heard arguments for the futures trading at both a premium and a discount to the spot price, personally I think the best strategy is to see what the market tells us when Bitcoin futures are available for trading.”
Meanwhile, the CME simply state that their Bitcoin futures will be released before the end of the year, with no further details as to when that is. (A previous announcement stated December 11th; this is now known to be an error.) The CME will offer contracts at 5 BTC, with spot position limits of 1,000 contracts. CME's Bitcoin tick will be half that of the CBOE's, set at only $5 for each BTC in a contract.
While the exact details of both the CME's and the CBOE's products are still to be seen, the price of Bitcoin has certainly rocketed since these two Chicago companies made their announcements, and the uptake of the cryptocurrency by such institutions should only help to further fuel the popularity of virtual currencies.