The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), one of the world’s biggest derivatives marketplaces, continues expanding its cryptocurrency derivatives offerings by adding a new Ether (ETH)-based product.
CME announced Tuesday that it is planning to launch a micro Ether futures contract, sized at 0.1 ETH, enabling a new type of Ether exposure to institutional and individual traders.
The new product will become the fourth crypto derivatives product ever launched by CME and is expected to be rolled out on Dec. 6, 2021, pending regulatory approval.
The news comes amid Ether sitting near all-time high levels after the cryptocurrency posted its highest historical price on Friday, reaching $4,460. At the time of writing, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is trading at $4,438, according to data from cryptocurrency tracking website CoinGecko.
Tim McCourt, CME Group Global head of alternative investment products, noted that the launch of micro ETH futures aims to bring more investors to the market by enabling smaller investments.
“Since the launch of Ether futures in February, we have seen steady growth in liquidity in these contracts, especially among institutional traders,” McCourt noted, adding that ETH price has “more than doubled” since these contracts were introduced.
“Micro Ether futures will offer even more choice and precision in how they trade Ether futures in a transparent, regulated and efficient manner at CME Group,” he added.
Micro Ether futures will join CME Group’s growing offering of crypto derivatives, including Micro Bitcoin futures, which started trading in May 2021. With each contract worth 0.1 BTC, the company has traded over 2.7 million contracts so far. The original and the first Bitcoin futures contract by CME was launched on Dec. 17, 2017.