Derivatives exchange Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will launch smaller-sized bitcoin futures contracts in May, potentially expanding the number of people who bet on the future price of the leading cryptocurrency.

  • In an announcement on Tuesday, the CME said the new contracts sized at one-tenth of one bitcoin will be available for trading on May 3 and will be cash-settled based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate.
  • "The introduction of Micro Bitcoin futures responds directly to demand for smaller-sized contracts from a broad array of clients and will offer even more choice and precision in how participants can trade regulated bitcoin futures in a transparent and efficient manner at CME Group," Tim Court, CME Group global head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products, said in a press release.
  • The micro futures will offer features and benefits of CME Group's standard bitcoin futures, launched in 2017.
  • The CME climbed ranks in the second half of 2020 and became the biggest bitcoin futures exchange as per open interest by the end of December, in a sign of increased institutional participation. Recently, the exchange has slipped to the number four spot.
  • A futures contract is a standardized legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future.

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