The launch date for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group's bitcoin options has finally been announced: the company will present the new trading product on January 13, 2020, provided the regulators sign off on it. The plan to introduce the options on the CME Group's bitcoin futures contracts was first unveiled this September, and at the time the company intended to have it in place by Q1 2020. The company's representatives stated their belief that the new product will be useful to professional traders and institutions, who will be able to better hedge and manage their risks.
Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products, said that they have been listening to their clients, who "have expressed a growing interest in options as another way to hedge and trade in these markets" since the launch of the company's bitcoin futures about two years ago. "We have worked closely with clients and the industry to establish a robust and increasingly liquid underlying futures market here at CME Group, and we believe bitcoin options will now offer our customers greater precision and flexibility to manage their risk."
The preliminary details of the new options product were first published in late October, and according to the specifications, each contract will be based on one bitcoin futures contract (representing five bitcoins). The contracts will be quoted in U.S. dollars per bitcoin with a tick size of $25 (or $5 for reduced tick sizes), and will trade between 5:00 P.M. Central Time on Sundays to 4:00 P.M. Central Time Fridays. According to official statements, CME Group expects that the new product will be in particularly high demand in Asia.