CME Group Seeks to Track the Bitcoin Price

The world’s largest futures exchange CME Group has launched two indexes for tracking bitcoin’s price, setting the digital currency on a course of well-deserved (and mainstream) publicity.

Chief investment officer at Global Advisors Daniel Masters explained:

“There is tremendous, pent-up demand in the U.S. for bitcoin exposure that doesn’t require an investor to select one of the current bitcoin exchanges in order to invest.”

CME has been one of the year’s leading innovators in the field of cryptocurrency. When banks and finance institutions are studying the blockchain and creating their own currencies and related items in the sparks of a growing digital age, CME Group is no exception. The company made headlines last May when it joined hands with London-based bitcoin services firm Crypto Facilities Limited to develop “new cryptocurrency-based products.”

On its “frequently asked questions” page, CME explains why it is getting involved in bitcoin and what it can potentially offer:

“CME Group is committed to fostering open standards, diverse participation, and cultivating the highest standards and protocols as digital asset technology evolves. These products are designed to allow bitcoin traders, companies and other users rely on a credible reference rate price source. This is an important step to making bitcoin trading more secure and accessible, and CME Group is proud to lead the way for the nascent industry as digital assets evolve.”

While a joyous occasion for bitcoin enthusiasts, the company is taking some flack over its recent decision. Some are bringing up bitcoin’s incessant links to criminal activity ranging from ransomware attacks to Silk Road, and wonder if CME is making the right choice. One of those critics is Mark T. Williams, a lecturer at Boston University. He states:

“Bitcoin pricing is still in the Wild West stage with unregulated bucket shops influencing daily price discovery.”

Responding to these words, a CME spokeswoman says that the company’s price indexes are based on data from six separate bitcoin exchanges located throughout the world, and are likely to bring a higher level of “transparency to the bitcoin market.”

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