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CME to launch bitcoin futures trading on December 18

05 December 2017

Official trading and full day trading of the futures will begin on December 11, and trading will be free through December.

CME is not the only US exchange that is going to add bitcoin futures to their product offerings.

In recent months, the price of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly, trading from a little over $1,300 in April up to more than $7,400 in early November, before falling again below $6,000 following the news that a much-anticipated "fork" in the bitcoin blockchain was not going ahead. Trading on the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) under the "XBT" ticker, the company added in its release that trading of the futures product would be free through the end of December.

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The move will subject some of the bitcoin market to federal regulation for the first time.

Bitcoin has gained more mainstream attention lately as its price has soared on the private exchanges.

Bitcoin's price levels have mostly displayed incremental gains within the $11,000 price range.

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The contracts will be cash-settled, and the price will be based on the daily auction price from Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange based out of NY. "Given the unprecedented interest in bitcoin, it's vital we provide clients the trading tools to help them express their views and hedge their exposure", said CBOE Chief Executive Ed Tilly. The first bitcoin futures contracts on a regulated US exchange are set to launch on Sunday. Market data from bitcoin exchanges Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, and Kraken will be used to calculate CME's once-a-day Bitcoin Reference Rate (BBR). At 19:54 UTC on Monday, bitcoin was trading at $11,237.19, unchanged in the last 24 hours.

The CBOE's announcement brings bitcoin one step closer to institutional traders, who are expected to be the primary customers for such trades.

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CME to launch bitcoin futures trading on December 18