CME has no plans to launch physically-settled bitcoin futures, says executive

Derivatives exchange giant CME Group has no current plans to offer physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts.

Tim McCourt, global head of equity index and alternative investment products at CME, told that to Markets Media in an interview published Tuesday.

CME recently announced that it is going to launch bitcoin options contracts in Q1 of 2020, based on “increasing client demand” and “robust growth” in its bitcoin futures markets.

“Since we launched bitcoin futures in December 2017, the number one demand from customers has been for options on our futures,” McCourt was quoted as saying in the interview, adding: “The institutional interest in bitcoin is growing but they need time to become familiar with the market and get approval to use new products.”

Last week, Bakkt finally launched its physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts. But there has been a slow demand for the product in its first few days of trading as Bakkt is still looking to sign up several core clients. As reported by The Block recently, some of its largest prospective clients still don’t have permission to trade physically-settled futures contracts.