CME Group launches options on Ether futures

New options build upon the group’s existing crypto product suite, which includes Bitcoin and micro-sized Bitcoin options.

Derivatives marketplace CME Group has launched new options contracts based on Ether futures.

The new contracts deliver one ether future, sized at 50 ether per contract, representing a full-sized version of the group’s existing micro-sized ether option.

They will be based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar reference rate, which serves as a once-a-day reference rate if the US dollar price of ether.

“As market participants anticipate the upcoming Ethereum Merge, a potentially game-changing update of one of the largest cryptocurrency networks, interest in Ether derivatives is surging,” said Tim McCourt, global head of equity and FX products at CME Group. 

“The launch of our new Ether options contracts is particularly well-timed to provide the crypto community with another important tool to gain access to and manage exposure to ether. Our new options contracts will also complement CME Group’s Ether futures which have seen a 43% increase in average daily volume year over year.”

The new contracts build on CME Group’s existing crypto product suite, which includes Bitcoin and micro-sized Bitcoin options, which launched earlier this year.

Following the launch, crypto prime brokerage Genesis announced that it has executed its first ever block trade of CME Group’s newly listed Ether options with crypto liquidity provider, Cumberland DRW.

“ETH’s dominance in the crypto ecosystem and the highly anticipated Ethereum Merge have increased demand across our institutional client base to hedge their risk and manage spot Ether price exposure on a regulated venue,” said Josh Barkhordar, head of US sales at Genesis.