March 1 (Reuters) - Futures exchange operator CME Group Inc (CME.O) is planning to launch micro bitcoin and ether options later this month to boost its appeal among retail traders, the company said on Tuesday.
The contracts will be one-tenth the size of the two biggest cryptocurrencies and will be available to both institutional and individual traders. They will launch on March 28, pending regulatory review.
Options contracts are used by traders to both protect themselves against big swings in the price of shares and to speculate on the direction of price moves.
Despite a march to the mainstream, prices of cryptocurrencies have swung wildly in the past year as central banks signal the end of pandemic-era economic stimulus and chart interest rate hikes to tame unruly inflation.
CME last year launched "micro" versions of its bitcoin and ether futures. Futures are contracts that obligate the holder to buy or sell the asset at a specific date.
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