LONDON — Exchange operator CME Group is launching a daily price benchmark for ethereum, a sign of its growing commitment to cryptocurrencies.
CME said in a statement on Monday that it is launching an Ether Reference Rate and Ether Real-Time Index in partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto Facilities.
The Ether-Dollar Reference Rate will provide a daily benchmark price in US dollars at 4 p.m. London time. The Ether-Dollar Real-Time Index will provide a real-time ether price in US dollars. Crypto Facilities will calculate both measures using data from trading platforms Kraken and Bitstamp.
Tim McCourt, MD and Global Head of Equity Products and Alternative Investments at CME Group, said in a statement: “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.”
Ether, which is the internal cryptocurrency of the ethereum network, is the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency, behind only bitcoin. The digital asset has a market value of $70 billion as of Monday.
The launch of the two new benchmarks signals CME Group’s growing commitment to the nascent space. CME Group, which operates derivative and futures exchanges in Chicago and London, launched bitcoin future contracts in December last year, almost 12 months after launching a bitcoin reference rate. These contracts were one of the first mechanisms giving mainstream financial institutions access to cryptocurrency investments.
A CME spokesperson said: “We are focused on establishing the index and reference rate for the foreseeable future, and do not currently have plans to launch a futures product.”
The launch of the two ethereum benchmarks could be a sign that CME Group is considering launching new futures products around other cryptocurrencies such as ether.
Dr. Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities, said in a statement: “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.”