On Oct. 31, the company announced that it would launch a bitcoin futures contract sometime in the fourth quarter "pending regulatory approval".
Bitcoin futures contracts to be offered by CME Group Inc. and Cboe Futures Exchange to mainstream investors. CME is planning to list its bitcoin futures contract on December 18. Though CME had signaled its intent to launch these products before the end of the year, many people doubted the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) would grant their application within this time period.
Christopher Giancarlo said after "extensive discussions with the exchanges" they "agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets".
"Market participants should take note that the relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority".
Bitcoin rebounded on Friday to hit the day's highs above $10,500 USA, recovering from an earlier dip below $9,500 United States, after the U.S. derivatives regulator said it would allow CME Group and CBOE Global Markets to list bitcoin futures.
"Nevertheless", Giancarlo added, "investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts".
Commission staff held rigorous discussions with CME over the course of six weeks, CFE over the course of four months, and had numerous calls with Cantor.
The regulator will monitor trading in these products and will assess whether any changes are needed to the contract design and settlement processes.
The new contract will be accessible to traders via the CME Globex electronic trading platform, and for submission for clearing via CME ClearPort.
The agreement with the exchanges does not mean the CFTC endorses the digital currency or the various trading products, he said.