CME Group adds daily expirations for Bitcoin and Ether options

abdelaziz Fathi

Derivatives giant Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) is broadening its range of cryptocurrency options by adding daily expirations to its standard- and micro-sized Bitcoin and Ether contracts.

CME Group

Subject to regulatory approval, this expansion will take effect on May 22, allowing for expiries every business day of the week.

More specifically, CME’s regular bitcoin and ether futures options will be expiring on a daily basis from Monday through Friday. AS for option contracts based on micro-sized bitcoin and ether futures, they will also be expiring on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to the current expiration dates of Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This new expiration schedule will complement the existing monthly and quarterly expirations available for these futures.

“CME Group continues to innovate and lead in the institutional crypto options on futures market. By completing the short end of the implied volatility surface with the addition of the new Tuesday, Thursday Micro options contracts and weekly standard size contracts, institutional market makers such as XBTO can deliver precise liquidity to market participants of all sizes who trade and hedge cryptocurrency exposures spanning every business day of the upcoming week for the first time,” said Paul Eisma, Head of Options Trading at XBTO.

Moreover, the parent company of the Chicago Board of Trade and other exchanges provided updated insights about its cryptocurrency products. Through Q1 2023, the exchange operator said its Bitcoin and Ether futures and options complex printed a record ADV of more than $3 billion. The daily average volume for Bitcoin futures and options also surpassed 11,500 contracts, while open interest (OI) averaged a record 24,094 contracts.

Since launching in September 2022, more than 4,600 Ether options contracts exchanged hands, the CME states, with a record of 311 contracts traded on Feb. 22 and a record OI of 1,800 contracts on March 24.

With extra regulatory safeguards, CME Group introduced Bitcoin futures in December 2017, marking a major step in the path to legitimatizing cryptocurrency. Later in 2021, it launched options on its Bitcoin futures contracts in a sign of its growing commitment to cryptocurrencies.

The Chicago-based venue was not the only exchange to try to capitalize on the crypto frenzy as Cboe pioneered with its own cash-settled bitcoin contracts. However, Cboe decided in 2020 to discontinue its bitcoin futures trading activities. On the other hand, CME pressed onward with new crypto products.

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