CME Group’s ‘Second Step’ for Bitcoin in 2017

By Bill Taylor-CEO, FintekNews & CIO, TLC Capital Group

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Back in November of last year the CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) in collaboration with Crypto Facilities in London launched  the first of two new bitcoin indices; the BRR (Bitcoin Reference Rate)** and the BRTI (Bitcoin Real Time Index)***. While the BRR went live on November 14 the BRTI was pushed back a touch and will launch…………….. Oh, it has as of today. This is the “second step” for the ‘Merc’ to become a major factor in the bitcoin world. The CME brings a strong validation to the digital currency’s legitimacy in the established investment/trading global community.

The CME will, of course, face firms launched within the last decade (Coindesk for one) that have “grown up” with the new digital currencies and have already placed their mark and established themselves with a millennial generation totally accepting bitcoin. But the CME, as the biggest, most respected and best, will expand the “pie” to bring the old established financial/ trading/ investment firms into the “new world”. Think of it this way, strike up a conversation about trading or investing in bitcoin to someone in Atlanta and say you can follow it on Coindesk, Bitstamp, Kraken, etc. and watch their eyes glass over. Now, same conversation but tell them that the ‘Merc’ has an index and it’s available on the CME platform. Those same eyes now light up and say “really”. Tell me more. It’s credible to the “masses”. (true story by the way).

So, today is the “second step” of the CME’s foray into the digital currency world and the Bitcoin Real Time Index (BRTI) joins the Bitcoin Reference Index (BRR) in providing a pricing structure for funds. Funds, clearing firms and administrators can now report a ‘closing’ daily price for reporting purposes with the CME credibility AND track and monitor current prices all in one place. The bitcoin ‘window’ has just been opened to a huge new audience. Thank you CME.

** The BRR aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges during a specific calculation window into a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. Calculation rules are geared toward a maximum of transparency and real-time replicability in underlying spot markets.

*** Bitcoin Real Time Index (BRTI), a standardized reference rate and spot price index with independent oversight are accelerating the professionalization of bitcoin trading and further establishing digital assets as a new asset class. Several bitcoin exchanges and trading platforms will provide pricing data, including Bitfinex, Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, Kraken and OKCoin.com (HK)