CME Group, CF Benchmarks to launch APAC reference rates for bitcoin, ether

Quick Take

  • The new Asia Pacific-specific rates will go live on Sept. 11 to complement the existing reference rates of the two cryptocurrencies published in the London and New York time zone.

CME Group, which operates one of the world’s largest derivatives markets, announced today a new collaboration with crypto indexing firm CF Benchmarks to launch two new APAC-specific reference rates for bitcoin and ether.

CME Group said that the two new reference rates — the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate APAC and CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate APAC — will go live on Sept. 11 and will provide a once-a-day rate, released at 4 p.m. Hong Kong time, in U.S. dollar terms for the two cryptocurrencies.

Giovanni Vicioso, CME’s global head of cryptocurrency products, said the new rates are designed to “meet the ever-evolving needs of global participants in the growing digital asset space.”

“Year-to-date, 37% of total crypto volume at CME Group has been traded during non-U.S. hours, with 11% of trades coming from the APAC region,” Vicioso added. “As we continue to see more institutional clients use our Bitcoin and Ether futures products in active portfolios or structured products like ETFs, these APAC reference rates will allow market participants to more accurately and precisely hedge cryptocurrency price risk with timing more closely aligned to their portfolios."

CME, CF Benchmarks expanding reference-rate offerings

Currently, CME and CF Benchmarks produce several crypto-related reference rates, including CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate and CME CF-Ether Dollar Reference Rate, which are published at 4 p.m. London time. 

The firms also published at 4 p.m. New York time another two rates — CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate New York and CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate New York.

Notably, CME’s bitcoin futures market saw volumes for July top its previous high in April, with the exchange recording $55.78 billion in volumes in July, according to data from Coinglass. CME saw $53.06 billion in monthly trading volume of bitcoin futures in April.

In December, the duo launched a number of DeFi reference rates and real-time indices for Aave, Curve and Synthetix.

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