CME Group Launches Ether Reference Rate - The Industry Spread

Ricardo Esteves

Ricardo Esteves has seen business and economics through many lenses. He joined the Financial Services Industry in 2009, and has been a financial journalist since 2011. He holds a degree in Business Administration and has experience producing real-time news, from both buy-side and sell-side, as well as for retail traders, brokers and service providers. Esteves' work has appeared in a variety of online publications including FX Street and FinanceFeeds.

CME Group

CME Group Launches Ether Reference Rate

May 17, 2018

Crypto FacilitiesCME Group has announced the launch of the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (Ether Reference Rate) in partnership with Crypto Facilities Ltd, a leading cryptocurrency trading platform.

The world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace will now provide users with access to a real-time Ether price in U.S. dollars with its daily benchmark price in U.S. dollars at 4 pm London time, and CME CF Ether-Dollar Real Time Index (Ether Real Time Index),

Crypto Facilities will be responsible for calculating both the Ether Reference Rate and Ether Real-Time Index based on transactions and order book activity from two major cryptocurrency exchanges: Kraken and Bitstamp.

Tim McCourt, Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Products and Alternative Investments at CME Group
Tim McCourt, Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Products and Alternative Investments at CME Group

Tim McCourt, Managing Director and Global Head of Equity Products and Alternative Investments at CME Group, said:

“The Ether Reference Rate and Real Time Index are designed to meet the evolving needs of this marketplace. Providing price transparency and a credible price reference source is a key development for users of Ethereum.”

Timo Schlaefer, Chief Executive Officer of Crypto Facilities, commented:

“Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, experienced incredible adoption and growth in 2017, evolving into the leading blockchain for smart contracts. We are excited to be contributing to the strong community that has developed around the Ethereum network by providing a reliable reference rate and real-time Ether-Dollar price.”

The reference rates are will be distributed on the CME Group Market Data Platform beginning June 4, 2018. A committee consisting of CME Group, Crypto Facilities and leading industry experts, will be responsible for overseeing these new reference rates and regularly review the methodology, practices and standards to protect the integrity of the reference rates.

Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities
Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities

The largest derivatives operator launched Bitcoin futures listings in December 2017, triggering a massive rally in cryptocurrency prices. Bitcoin reached the $20,000 mark before tumbling down towards $6,000 during Q1 2018. The digital asset, referred to as a commodity according to the U.S. regulators, is trading over $8,000 during the ongoing Blockchain Week event in New York, the most important annual conference within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

CME Group has recently offered £10 a share or £3.8 billion ($5.4 billion) to Britain’s NEX Group for its acquisition. The proposed acquisition will shake up the US trading industry as the combination of both entity will put $500bn-a-day US Treasuries market, the main market for the US government debt.

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