Cboe’s long-awaited margined Bitcoin and Ether futures going live soon

Rick Steves

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.

Cboe Digital has announced a major development in the digital assets market: the launch of trading and clearing in margin futures on Bitcoin and Ether, starting January 11, 2024.

With this initiative, Cboe Digital is set to become the first U.S.-regulated crypto native exchange and clearinghouse to offer both spot and leveraged derivatives trading on a single platform.

This move represents a significant step towards integrating traditional financial trading mechanisms into the digital asset space, reflecting a growing maturation and acceptance of cryptocurrencies within the broader financial landscape.

CQG, Marex, StoneX, Talos, tastytrade, Trading Technologies, Wedbush…

Cboe Digital’s launch will initially focus on financially settled margined contracts on Bitcoin and Ether. The platform aims to later include physically delivered products, pending regulatory approvals.

The margin model is particularly significant as it allows for trading futures without the requirement to post full collateral upfront. This model not only enhances capital efficiency but also simplifies access to both spot and derivatives markets, fostering greater 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 strong industry backing underscores the confidence in Cboe Digital’s initiative and its potential impact on the market.

John Palmer, President of Cboe Digital, emphasized the significance of this launch: “Our upcoming launch of margin futures represents a significant milestone for Cboe Digital, and we are grateful to have the support of such a remarkable group of industry partners who share our commitment to building trusted and transparent crypto markets.”

This new offering complements Cboe Digital’s existing suite of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, and USDC trading on its spot crypto market. The daily publication of contract margin requirements and standardized portfolio analysis of risk files on Cboe Digital’s website will further enhance transparency and risk management for market participants.

Cboe planned to launch margined Bitcoin and Ether in H2 2023

Cboe Digital has become the first U.S.-regulated crypto native exchange and clearinghouse combination platform to be allowed to offer leveraged derivatives products. The initial product launch was planned for the second half of 2023.

The long-awaited margined Bitcoin and Ether futures products were expected since the CFTC’s approval earlier this year. The regulator approved Cboe Digital’s vision to bring trust and transparency to crypto spot and derivatives markets under an intermediary-inclusive model.

Cboe Digital to date has offered trading and clearing of Bitcoin and Ether futures on a fully collateralized basis, which require customers to outlay the full amount of a futures contract upfront.

The new margin model will require only a percentage of the total posted as collateral, enabling customers to trade futures in a less capital-intensive way. Trades will be executed and cleared through an approved set of member Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs) with Cboe Digital’s clearinghouse acting as the central counterparty.

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