February 8, 2021 - CME Group today launched futures on Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation and volume. The contracts are based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (ETHUSD_RR) and CME CF Ether Real-Time Index (ETHUSD_RTI).

A single Ether futures contract has a value of 50 times the value of the Ether-Dollar Reference Rate Index (ETHUSD_RR) and is quoted in US dollars per one ether. Ether futures can be traded up to a maximum order size of 100 contracts.

"As institutional demand for transparent, exchange-listed crypto derivatives continues to increase, we are pleased to launch our new Ether futures contract," said Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products. "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."


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FCA regulated CF Benchmarks is the benchmark administrator for the Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (ETHUSD_RR). ETHUSD_RR is published between 4.00pm and 4.30pm London time every day, including weekends and holidays. "Just like in other capital markets, derivatives have become the avenue of choice for institutions to access cryptocurrencies," said Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks. "Our status as a U.K. FCA regulated benchmark provider, whose compliance is regularly audited by Deloitte, gives institutions further confidence to enter the cryptocurrency space via the CME Ether futures contact based on our CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate. 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."

"CME Group has been an integral participant in the continued institutionalisation of this asset class, and the launch of Ether futures is yet another milestone," said Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global Trading Inc. "Genesis is excited to continue to work closely with CME in this effort."

"The launch of CME Ether futures is an exciting addition to the digital assets ecosystem as it evidences the ongoing maturation of the asset class as a whole," said Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments. "At Grayscale Investments, we've seen enormous growth in investor interest for Ethereum and we're excited to see the growing list of financial product offerings expanding access to digital currencies."

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.

The list of Cryptocurrency Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs) that provide clearing and execution services for clients interested in trading Bitcoin and Ether futures and options can be viewed here.

The list of cryptocurrency Block and EFRP Intermediaries and Liquidity Providers on the CME can be viewed here.

A list of FAQs on this contract can be found on the CME's website here.