Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, is doubling down on cryptocurrency derivatives with a plan to offer options on its Bitcoin futures contracts.
The options will be available Dec. 9 on the Bakkt digital-asset trading platform, a consortium of which ICE is a member. The contracts are designed to let institutional investors hedge or gain Bitcoin exposure. They’ll settle into the Bakkt’s monthly futures that were launched in September, the company said in a post.
Trading in crypto derivatives has surged this year as overall price volatility has declined. Most of the volume has been on exchanges outside the U.S. that are less regulated than ICE, which is overseen by the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Rival CME Group Inc. plans to offer Bitcoin options early next year.
Options provide the right to buy or sell a specific amount of Bitcoin within a predetermined period. Futures obligate a buyer to purchase or the seller to sell an asset at a predetermined date and price.
Bakkt said a record 590 one-month futures contracts changed hands Wednesday. It also began offering one-day futures contracts last month, which are physically deliverable, meaning that they settle in Bitcoin.