Commodities

Google Ad

Bitcoin is now available on the two largest American futures exchanges, the CBOE $XBT and the CME $BTC. It has been a volatile week as Bitcoin slides 25% lower heading into Christmas. We take a look at the pros and cons of the two contracts.

Bitcoin Futures

Comparing CBOE v CME Bitcoin Futures

1. The Ticker Symbol

  • CBOE = XBT 
  • CME = BTC

2. The Bitcoin at Risk

  • CBOE Bitcoin Futures Contract equals one bitcoin.
  • CME Bitcoin Futures Contract equals five bitcoins

3. The Bitcoin Reference Rate

For reference here is snapshot of CBOE (Genesis) v CME () Taken at the exact time - Dec 21, 2017 at 3.36 PM ET

Gemini 12 21 3 36

CME Bitcoin 12 21 3.36 

4. Settlement Currency and Counterparty Risk

Both Cboe’s and CME’s bitcoin futures contracts will be settled in U.S. dollars NOT Bitcoin. Speculators will have exposure to the bitcoin without having to hold any Bitcoin. Counterparty risk will be the exchange

5. Settlement Time and Price

CBOE

  • Contract is priced off of a single auction at 4 p.m. Eastern time (2100 GMT) on the final settlement date on the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Gemini was founded by initial Facebook founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
  • For More See: Gemini Trust Company

CME

6. Margin Required

CBOE

  • Ccontract clears through the Options Clearing Corporation
  • Initial margin of 44 percent
  • Maintenance margin of 40 percent.

CME

  • Contract clears through CME ClearPort
  • Initial margin of 43 percent
  • Maintenance rate of 43 percent.

Margin rates at both exchanges are subject to change.

7. Trading Hours and Location

CBOE

  • $XBT contract trades on CFE, with regular trading hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Eastern time on Mondays and 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m Tuesday through Friday.
  • Extended hours will be 6 p.m. Sunday to 9:30 a.m. Monday, and 4:30 p.m. Monday through to 9:30 a.m. Friday.

CME

  • $BTC contract trades on CME Globex from Sunday to Friday from 6 p.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern time with a one-hour break each day beginning at 5 p.m.

8. Price Limits and Circuit Breakers

CBOE

  1. Will halt trading in its contract for 2 minutes if the best bid in the XBT futures contract closest to expiration is 10 percent or more above or below the daily settlement price of that contract on the prior business day.
  2. Once trading resumes, if the best bid in the XBT futures contract closest to expiration is 20 percent or more above or below the daily settlement price of that contract on the prior business day, the futures will be halted for 5 minutes.

CME

  1. Will halt trading in its contract for 2 minutes  if the best bid in the BTC contract closest to expiration is 7 percent above or below the daily settlemt price of that contract on the prior business day.
  2. Once trading resumes, will halt trading in its contract for 2 minutes  if the best bid in the BTC contract closest to expiration is 13 percent above or below the daily settlement price of that contract on the prior business day.
  3. Once trading resumes, will halt trading in its contract for the trading day if the best bid in the BTC contract closest to expiration is 20 percent above or below the daily settlement price of that contract on the prior business day.

8. Contract Expirations

CBOE

May list up to four weekly contracts, three near-term serial months, and three months on the March quarterly cycle.

CME

May list monthly contracts for the nearest two months in the March quarterly cycle (March, June, Sept., Dec.) plus the nearest two serial months not in the March quarterly cycle.

Sources: CME. CBOE

From The Traders Community Research Desk

Log in to comment
Discuss this article in the forums (4 replies).