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CME Group plans to launch euro-denominated Bitcoin and Ether futures

Major derivatives marketplace Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group aims to launch trading for Bitcoin euro and Ether euro futures contracts starting on Aug. 29.

In a Thursday announcement, CME Group said that subject to regulatory review, it plans to launch contracts for euro-denominated Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) futures that will be sized at 5 BTC and 50 ETH per contract. Both contracts will be listed on CME, cash-settled, and based on the CME CF Bitcoin-Euro Reference Rate and CME CF Ether-Euro Reference Rate.

"Ongoing uncertainty in cryptocurrency markets, along with the robust growth and deep liquidity of our existing Bitcoin and Ether futures, is creating increased demand for risk management solutions by institutional investors outside the U.S.,” said CME Group global head of equity and FX products Tim McCourt. "Euro-denominated cryptocurrencies are the second highest traded fiat behind the U.S. dollar.”

According to McCourt, countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa represented 28% of all trading for BTC and ETH futures contracts. The listing announcement also followed the euro reaching parity with the U.S. dollar in July for the first time in 20 years — at the time of publication, 1 euro is worth roughly $1.02.

Related: Circle launches euro-backed stablecoin EUROC

CME Group launched the first BTC futures contract — denominated in U.S. dollars — in December 2017, followed by an ETH futures contract in February 2021. In March, the derivatives exchange expanded its offering of crypto investment vehicles to include micro BTC and ETH futures.

Cointelegraph reported in July that CME Group’s BTC and ETH derivatives contracts saw record activity in the second quarter of 2022, with 10,700 and 6,100 contracts traded, respectively. The exchange also reported its micro BTC and ETH products had an average daily volume of 17,400 and 21,300 contracts, respectively, in Q2 2022. Much of the trading activity came amid extreme volatility in the crypto market, with the prices of both BTC and ETH dropping in May and June.

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