CME’s Bitcoin futures contract, ticker symbol BTC, is a USD cash-settled contract based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. The BRR aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a one-hour calculation window into the U.S. dollar price of one bitcoin as of 4 p.m. London Time.

The Bitcoin futures contract trades Sunday through Friday, from 5 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time (CT).

A single BTC contract has a value of five times the value of the BRR Index and is quoted in U.S. dollars per one bitcoin. The tick increments are quoted in multiples of $5 per bitcoin, meaning a one-tick move of the BTC future is equal to $25.

BTC futures are block trade eligible with a minimum quantity threshold of five contracts.

BTC futures expire the last Friday of the month, and are listed on the nearest six consecutive monthly contracts, inclusive of the nearest two December contracts.

Example

For example, assume it’s January and the six consecutive contract months are January, February, March, April, May, and June. In addition, that year’s December contract plus next year’s December contract will also be listed.  As one contract expires, the next contract to complete the six-month lineup is added. When the December contract expires, the June contract becomes active, in addition to the December contract for the next year. So, at any time, there are six consecutive monthly contracts and only two December contracts listed.

This process continues throughout each year.

Conclusion

Bitcoin is a large portion of the growing digital asset market. BTC futures provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk management capabilities. The contract will also allow individual market participants to access the bitcoin market as well as hedge any direct exposure to bitcoin pricing.

For more information about Bitcoin Futures, please visit cmegroup.com/bitcoinfutures.

If you would like to learn more about how futures work, check out our course Introduction to Futures.

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