E-Trade Launches Bitcoin Futures Trading with CME Group

The growing demand for cryptocurrencies is encouraging brokerages to launch trading contracts.

On Tuesday evening, the New York-based online trading firm E-Trade launched Bitcoin futures trading through CME Group. This move came after the firm opened similar services on COBE Global Markets on the 20th of December.

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As mentioned on E-Trade’s website, the firm has set an intraday margin of 80 percent for CME Bitcoin futures, similar to the margin for COBE futures.

On December 10th, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) launched the first Bitcoin futures in the US market. This marked the mainstream acceptance of the controversial digital coin, as for the first time Bitcoin trading contracts were listed on a US-regulated exchange. The investors also took this listing very well as the ensuing rally took Bitcoin prices above $20,000 within a few days.

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E-trade is not the only US-based firm to launch these Bitcoin-based trading contracts. Some of its competitors are also introducing similar cryptocurrency-backed instruments, trying to take the profit from the emerging digital economy. In December, Nebraska-based TD Ameritrade Holding Corp started offering Bitcoin futures through CBOE.

Another US-based brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers Group Inc., has enabled the short trading option of Bitcoin futures via CBOE Futures Exchange. This provided a more dynamic trading environment among the crypto traders.

Amid the American exchange’s launch of Bitcoin futures, exchanges all over the world are also considering launching similar services. In December, the German exchange Deutsche Börse also announced its interest in launching Bitcoin contracts.

Currently, Bitcoin has pulled back after achieving a record high in December. Even the holiday season did not give the digital coin a boost, as it dropped to under $13,000.

On the other hand, some altcoins are stealing Bitcoin’s thunder. Coins like Ripple and Ethereum have been soaring recently. Ethereum doubled its value in the last month, while Ripple gained a whopping 1030 percent in the same period.

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