The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced plans to launch micro bitcoin and ether options, opening the crypto derivatives market to smaller investors.
These micro BTC and ETH options will have a contract size equivalent to a tenth of their respective underlying tokens and will launch on March 28, according to a statement today. At present, CME offers full-size options trading for bitcoin with a contract size of 5 BTC.
These options settle into bitcoin and ether futures contracts, rather than physical crypto. CME is pitching them as allowing "greater precision and flexibility" for both individual and institutional traders.
Options give the holder the right to buy or sell the underlying security – in this case, BTC or ETH futures contracts – at a pre-agreed strike price. Based on the FAQs listed on the CME website, the micro options are European-style, meaning that it is not possible to exercise them before the last day of trading.
Since CME launched micro bitcoin and ether futures in 2021 it has seen nearly 5.2 million contracts change hands, the company stated. The launch of the micro crypto options will be subject to regulatory approval.