U.S. derivatives regulator announces meetings to review futures based on cryptocurrencies

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leading U.S. derivatives regulator announced Thursday it would be holding a pair of meetings to review the process for allowing futures based on cryptocurrencies to come to market.

The late January meetings to be held by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes after two leading exchanges launched bitcoin futures in December. It also comes amid industry concerns about the risks potentially posed by allowing futures in volatile virtual currencies to be traded alongside more traditional financial products.

CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo said the regulator is aware of the “considerable risks” that come with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But the CFTC noted that there is no law or rule that would have prevented CME Group Inc (CME.O) and CBOE Global Markets Inc (CBOE.O) from listing bitcoin futures contracts. The pair of advisory committee meetings are aimed at giving stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the issue.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis