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The new contract will be available for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform effective on Sunday, December 17, 2017, for a trade date of December 18.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. will also be dealing with the cryptocurrency, but hasn't said when it will start.

The announcement by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) paves the way for CME and CBOE to become the first traditional USA regulated exchanges to launch trading in bitcoin-related financial contracts, a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency that could lead to greater regulatory scrutiny.

The price of bitcoin futures will be based on the price the digital currency is going for on four major bitcoin exchanges - Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken. "We are operationally ready and we will be announcing a launch date shortly", the spokesperson said in the new statement.

The CFTC has had extensive discussions with the exchanges over the past few months as they have developed these products, resulting in "significant enhancements to contract design and settlement", among other changes, the regulator says in its announcement.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission notes that it will be closely monitoring trading activity around bitcoin due to it being "a commodity unlike any the commission has dealt with in the past".

Following the news of the bitcoin futures, the online currency is up in price.

"Nevertheless", Giancarlo added, "investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts".

Still, at launch, Duffy explained the bitcoin futures product will be subject to risk management tools, including a margin of 35 percent, position and intraday price limits.

Nasdaq Inc also plans to list a futures contract based on bitcoin in 2018, Reuters reported earlier this week.