CF Benchmarks Obtains License from UK FCA

CF Benchmarks, the leading cryptocurrency index provider formerly known as Crypto Facilities Indices, has become the first cryptocurrency index provider to be  granted a license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s financial watchdog.

As a leading cryptocurrency index provider and owner of the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, CF Benchmarks is now formally a Benchmark Administrator under European Benchmarks Regulation (EU BMR).

CF Benchmarks
CF Benchmarks

The European Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) affects banks, brokerages, exchanges, asset managers and issuers of financial products that operate in Europe. Thanks to the FCA license, service providers may create regulated financial products referencing the CF Benchmarks’ cryptocurrency indices, in compliance with BMR. This includes issuing, trading and investing in products referencing indices; and using indices to define the asset allocation of a portfolio, measure fund performance and determine borrowing rates and contract settlement mechanisms. EU BMR is still to come into full effect on January 1, 2020 and only then will CF Benchmarks’ indices be allowed to be used by regulated financial services firms in financial products originated, marketed or traded in Europe.

Sui Chung, Chief Executive Officer of CF Benchmarks, said: “We are proud to be the first regulated cryptocurrency index provider to meet the EU BMR’s stringent requirements. The industry can now gain access to regulated, high integrity benchmarks, which will spur innovation, furthering the adoption of digital assets in Europe and beyond. Reliable and trusted benchmarks are critical to growing the cryptocurrency ecosystem as they attract more individual and institutional investors to the asset class.”

The CME CF Cryptocurrency Pricing Products and the CF Cryptocurrency Index Family are administered and calculated by CF Benchmarks, who applies indexing techniques and methodologies to products unique to the cryptocurrency asset class.

It was in mid-2018 that CME Group announced the launch of the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (Ether Reference Rate) in partnership with Crypto Facilities Ltd, the former name of CF Benchmarks. From then on, the most diverse derivatives marketplace started to provide users with access to a real-time Ether price in U.S. dollars with its daily benchmark price in U.S. dollars and CME CF Ether-Dollar Real Time Index (Ether Real Time Index). CME Group’s Bitcoin futures are
cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), and trading since December 18, 2017.

In August 2019, CF Benchmarks added the market data of Gemini Trust Company, the cryptocurrency exchange and custodian owned by the Winklevoss twins. The data was added to its eight cryptocurrency indices, including the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate and CME CF Bitcoin Real Time Index, and the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate and CME CF Ether-Dollar Real Time Index, among other cryptocurrency indices. CF Benchmarks uses data from a number of leading exchanges, such as Gemini, Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Kraken.