A few days before the expected Ethereum Merge, the top American derivatives exchange Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group announced on Monday the inclusion of Ethereum (Ether) trading options in its futures marketplace.

The launch, according to the business, is the result of growing investor interest in Ethereum as they wait for the network to switch to a Proof-of-Stakes (PoS) chain later this month.

The interest in Ether futures is increasing, according to Tim McCourt, the global head of stock and FX products at CME Group. Market players are anticipating the next Ethereum Merge, which may be a game-changing upgrade for one of the biggest cryptocurrency networks.

The new Ether futures product is expected to “provide one ether futures, scaled at 50 ether per contract, and based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate, which acts as a once-a-day reference rate for the U.S. dollar price of ether,” according to a report from the derivatives market last month.

Tim McCourt said that the most recent expansion of Ethereum options provides traders with crucial resources to obtain fresh Ethereum goods. The contracts also provide users greater freedom to control their exposure to Ether while waiting for the Merge, which is expected to heighten market volatility.

McCourt said that the products are made to go along with current Ether futures contracts, which have seen a sharp increase (43%) in their typical daily transaction volume over the last 12 months. In February 2021, the firm introduced support for Ethereum futures.

With Bitcoin (BTC) and other virtual assets, the CME Group, one of the top global derivative exchanges, began selling crypto-related futures derivative products in early 2017. These products let traders buy and sell their purchases at a certain date.

Leon Marshall, the global head of sales at Genesis, a digital asset trading firm, commented on the most recent development and expressed his opinion that the new futures contracts would assist its institutional clients and also operate as a hedge against inflation.

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