In line with earlier announced plans, international derivatives marketplace CME Group Inc (NASDAQ:CME) today launched Ether futures. The move further expands CME’s crypto derivatives offerings in this emerging asset class.

CME Ether futures are cash-settled, based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate, which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of Ether. Ether futures are listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products, explains:

“As institutional demand for transparent, exchange-listed crypto derivatives continues to increase, we are pleased to launch our new Ether futures contract. The addition of Ether, along with our liquid Bitcoin futures and options, will create new opportunities for a broad array of clients, whether they are looking to hedge ether positions in the spot market or gain exposure to this cryptocurrency on a regulated derivatives marketplace.”

Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks, comments:

“For the first time, investors can gain exposure to the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap via a U.S.-regulated futures contract. Just as Bitcoin futures paved the way for institutions to enter the crypto market in 2017, so CME Ether futures will allow CME Group clients to gain even greater exposure to the asset class.”

Ether futures will join CME Group’s Bitcoin futures and options.

As CME Bitcoin futures marked their third anniversary on December 17, 2020, the company said that there has been significant growth in their adoption from a broad array of participants, including institutional investors. From January to mid-December 2020, 8,560 CME Bitcoin futures contracts (equivalent to about 42,800 bitcoin) have traded on average each day. At the same time, institutional interest continues to build with the number of large open interest holders reaching a record of 110 in December.