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CME Group Launches ETH Futures Options Trading as World Prepares for Merger

Derivatives market Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME Group) announced the launch of options trading for its Ether (ETH) futures products on Monday – the same week as the expected Ethereum merger.

The launch of the new futures contract is “at the right time”, said Tim McCourt, global head of equity and FX products at CME Group. said in a report. He no:

“As market participants anticipate the upcoming Ethereum merger, a potentially game-changing update to one of the largest cryptocurrency networks, interest in Ether derivatives is growing.”

CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives market, announced plans to launch futures options on August 18. The contracts will offer an Ether futures contract at 50 ETH per contract, based on a daily updated benchmark USD price of Ether.

The new contracts join a range of existing CME Group products. The group launched the first Bitcoin futures contract in December 2017. Its Bitcoin (BTC) and ETH derivative contracts saw record interest in the second quarter of this year, despite the crypto winter.

CME Group introduced a BTC options trading product in January 2020. CME launched micro Ether futures in December 2021 and in March 2022 launched options contracts for its existing micro BTC and ETH futures at 10% of the token size. It also offers BTC and ETH futures contracts denominated in euros.

Related: The Merge: Top 5 Misconceptions About Ethereum’s Planned Upgrade

Ethereum developers have confirmed that the Ethereum blockchain is ready for “The Merge”, during which it will transition from a proof-of-work mechanism to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. The merger is expected to be completed on September 15.

As of this writing, ETH is trading at $1,715, down 3.23% in 24 hours and down 11.14% in the past month. The anticipation of the merger and the release of August US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on September 15 could lead to further price volatility.