Cboe tomorrow goes live with Bitcoin and Ether margin futures

Rick Steves

As the anticipation builds, Cboe Digital’s margin futures launch is poised to not only meet institutional demand for exposure to digital assets but also set a new standard in the convergence of traditional finance and the burgeoning crypto market.

In a groundbreaking move set to reshape the digital assets landscape, Cboe Digital is on the verge of launching margin futures trading on Bitcoin and Ether, scheduled for January 11, 2024.

This significant development positions Cboe Digital as the first U.S.-regulated crypto native exchange and clearinghouse offering both spot and leveraged derivatives on a unified platform.

Bitcoin and Ether margin futures optimize capital efficiency

Cboe Digital’s margin model allows futures trading without the need for full collateral upfront. This optimizes capital efficiency and simplifies access to both spot and derivatives markets, fostering operational efficiency.

The launch is supported by an impressive consortium of 11 leading firms from the cryptocurrency and traditional finance sectors. These include B2C2, BlockFills, CQG, Cumberland DRW, Jump Trading Group, Marex, StoneX Financial, Talos, tastytrade, Trading Technologies, and Wedbush.

This move comes amid regulatory “unclarity” from the SEC regarding crypto, positioning Cboe Digital as a trailblazer in navigating and embracing the evolving regulatory landscape. The launch is expected to be a game-changer, providing a seamless entry point for institutional investors into the crypto derivatives market.

As the anticipation builds, Cboe Digital’s margin futures launch is poised to not only meet institutional demand for exposure to digital assets but also set a new standard in the convergence of traditional finance and the burgeoning crypto market. The platform’s commitment to transparency and risk management, evident in daily margin requirement publications, further solidifies its position as a trusted player in the evolving digital assets ecosystem.

CFTC noted a stark contrast between Cboe and FTX applications

At the time of the regulatory approval, CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero highlighted the adherence of Cboe’s application to the traditional U.S. futures intermediated market structure. In contrast, she noted concerns with other applications, such as FTX’s, which proposed a bespoke disintermediated direct-to-customer market structure, posing potential risks to customer protection and financial stability.

Romero emphasized that Cboe’s application doesn’t seek bespoke regulation and aligns with the established market structure. Cboe’s extensive experience, spanning over fifty years, operating regulated exchanges in various asset classes, further contributes to risk mitigation.

To ensure customer protection, cybersecurity, and clearing-system safeguards, CFTC outlined four significant measures: a staff advisory on supervision of heightened risk, annual SOC 2 audits for Cboe, requiring high-risk third-party services to submit their SOC 2 Type II reports regularly, and amending Rule 301(f) in Cboe’s rulebook to disqualify any clearing member violating the Commodity Exchange Act.

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