(Updates Dec. 11 factbox ahead of CME’s launch; updates margin rates)
Dec 15 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc launches bitcoin futures on Sunday, Dec. 17, following Cboe Global Markets Inc’s Dec. 10 bitcoin futures debut.
Here are some of the differences between the products offered by the Chicago-based exchange operators. CONTRACT UNIT -The Cboe Bitcoin Futures Contract uses the ticker XBT and equals one bitcoin. -The CME Bitcoin Futures Contract will use the ticker BTC and will equal five bitcoins.
PRICING AND SETTLEMENT -Both Cboe’s and CME’s bitcoin futures contracts will be settled in U.S. dollars, allowing exposure to the bitcoin without actually having to hold any of the cryptocurrency. -Cboe’s contract is priced off of a single auction at 4 p.m. Eastern time (2100 GMT) on the final settlement date on the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange. -CME’s contract will be priced off of the CME Bitcoin Reference Rate, an index that references pricing data from cryptocurrency exchanges, currently made up of Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken.
TRADING HOURS -Cboe’s XBT contract trades on CFE, with regular trading hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Eastern time on Mondays and 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m Tuesday through Friday. Extended hours will be 6 p.m. Sunday to 9:30 a.m. Monday, and 4:30 p.m. Monday through to 9:30 a.m. Friday. -CME’s BTC will trade on CME Globex from Sunday to Friday from 6 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern time with a one-hour break each day beginning at 5 p.m.
MARGIN RATE AND CLEARING -Cboe’s contract clears through the Options Clearing Corporation and an initial margin of 44 percent and a maintenance margin of 40 percent applies. -CME’s contract will clear through CME ClearPort and will have a 43 percent initial margin rate and a maintenance rate of 43 percent. -Margin rates at both exchanges are subject to change.
CONTRACT EXPIRATIONS -Cboe said it may list up to four weekly contracts, three near-term serial months, and three months on the March quarterly cycle. -CME said it will list monthly contracts for the nearest two months in the March quarterly cycle (March, June, Sept., Dec.) plus the nearest two serial months not in the March quarterly cycle.
PRICE LIMITS AND TRADING HALTS -Cboe will halt trading in its contract for 2 minutes if the best bid in the XBT futures contract closest to expiration is 10 percent or more above or below the daily settlement price of that contract on the prior business day. Once trading resumes, if the best bid in the XBT futures contract closest to expiration is 20 percent or more above or below the daily settlement price of that contract on the prior business day, the futures will be halted for 5 minutes. -CME will apply price limits, also known as circuit breakers, to its bitcoin futures of 7 percent, 13 percent, and 20 percent to the futures fixing price. Trading will not be allowed outside of the 20 percent price limit.
Sources: Cboe and CME (Reporting by John McCrank in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Meredith Mazzilli)