CME Group and CF Benchmarks to Introduce APAC Reference Rates for Bitcoin and Ether

CME Group, a leading global derivatives marketplace, in collaboration with CF Benchmarks, a prominent provider of cryptocurrency benchmark indices, has announced the launch of two new APAC-specific reference rates for Bitcoin and Ether. These rates, named the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate APAC (BRRAP) and CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate APAC (ETHUSD_AP), are set to be introduced on September 11. They will offer a daily reference rate for the U.S. dollar value of these two digital assets, with the publication time slated for 4 p.m. Hong Kong/Singapore time.

Giovanni Vicioso, the Global Head of Cryptocurrency Products at CME Group, highlighted the significance of these new rates by stating, “Year-to-date, 37% of total crypto volume at CME Group has been traded during non-U.S. hours, with 11% of trades originating from the APAC region.” He further emphasized that these APAC reference rates would enable market participants to hedge cryptocurrency price risks more effectively, aligning closely with their portfolio timings.

These newly introduced rates will supplement the existing CME CF Bitcoin and Ether reference rates, which are published at 4 p.m. London and New York times, respectively. The primary purpose of these rates is to serve as benchmark rates for the settlement of all related CME Group futures contracts.

Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks, expressed enthusiasm about the launch, noting the ongoing rapid adoption of crypto. He mentioned, “As variants, these benchmarks will be calculated and administered to the same exacting standards enjoyed by their existing London and New York counterparts.” Chung emphasized the role of these benchmarks in bolstering investor and institutional confidence in crypto financial products.

This move by CME Group and CF Benchmarks is indicative of the growing institutional interest in cryptocurrency within the Asia Pacific region. The introduction of these reference rates is expected to cater to the needs of institutions and investors in the APAC region, providing them with accurate BTC and ETH prices during the Asia trading day.

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BlackRock Bitcoin Private Trust to Be Benchmarked by Kraken’s CF Benchmarks Bitcoin Index

The world’s largest investment management firm BlackRock’s Bitcoin Private Trust will use the Kraken subsidiary CF Benchmarks Bitcoin Index as a benchmark for issuance, The Block reported.

Last month, BlackRock partnered with Coinbase to provide its institutional clients with cryptocurrency trading services. A few days later, the company announced the launch of the Bitcoin Private Trust, a Bitcoin Spot.

The product will seek to track Bitcoin’s performance and will bring fewer fees and debt to the trust company.

CF Benchmarks is a member of the Crypto Facilities group of companies and a member of the Payward Group of owners and operators of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken Exchange.

“Despite the sharp decline in the digital asset market, we continue to see strong interest from some institutional clients on how to leverage our technology and product capabilities to efficiently and cost-effectively access these assets,” BlackRock said in a statement.

The investment firm holds more than $10 trillion in assets under management (AUM).

Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmark, noted that institutional interest has increased over the past few months compared to six months ago and added that:

“The understanding of digital assets themselves is much greater than it was, people we talk to now understand the difference between bitcoin and ether.”

CF Benchmarks is trying to become the MSCI index of the crypto world.

The S&P Dow Jones Indices, a global leader in providing investable and benchmark indices to the financial launched index funds for cryptocurrencies in 2021.

BlackRock has long been focused on the crypto space, and the financial giant said its core focus in the industry remains on permissioned blockchains, stablecoins, cryptoassets, and tokenization.

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