Brokerage firm TradeStation Securities is now allowing its customers to trade options on Bitcoin futures contracts through CME Group and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-governed Bakkt.
TradeStation clients can trade Bitcoin options on CME and Bakkt through its new FuturesPlus platform, according to a statement from the company. The service comes equipped with various analytical tools, as well as “simplified pricing.”
According to its website, TradeStation has been around since the 1980s and offers commission-free trading on stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), futures and options. The online brokerage markets its platform to institutional traders—the type of investors which are widely considered to be the key to Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption.
While institutional investors have been slow to jump on the crypto bandwagon, given the price fluctuations and volatility of digital assets, exchanges such as Bakkt and CME have sought to offer an easier onramp by offering bitcoin-based futures contracts.
Bakkt first launched last September and experienced a lackluster start. In fact, its debut was so disappointing that many market analysts blamed Bakkt for the crash in Bitcoin’s price that followed. Trading volume on Bakkt has since picked up, however, in a sign of growing interest.
CME, meanwhile, just recently launched its Bitcoin options product two weeks ago—and the response has been noteworthy. Trading volume on CME for Bitcoin options more than doubled in just its first week.
“We have been a longtime supporter of crypto and are excited to be part of this new chapter in cryptocurrency-based trading,” said TradeStation President John Bartleman in a statement. Bartleman noted that TradeStation was one of the first online brokers to add support for “real-time market data for Bitcoin indices sourced by Cboe Global Markets and CME Group” back in 2017.
“Now, two years later, we’re still here to support CME’s products and the new ICE Bakkt offerings,” he said.