The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, or CME, recently announced plans to expand Ethereum (ETH) futures on its offering – three years after the launch of Bitcoin (BTCfutures. Market development has influenced the stock market’s decision to branch out.

“Since we launched the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate and Real-Time Index in 2018, there has been significant growth in ether transactions and increased customer demand for tools to manage price risk,” a CME representative told Cointelegraph.

Similar to CME’s Bitcoin Reference Rate, the CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate and Real-Time Index essentially show the current market price of ETH. “As with any new product or service, we made the decision to launch Ether futures based on strong customer demand and a clearly stated need,” said the representative. “Listing Ether futures on a regulated, proven exchange will help create a forward curve for investors to hedge their exposure to the money market.”

The CME made the announcement on December 16, noting plan for the product’s market launch in February 2021. However, regulations still play a role in the comparison. “We are involved in the CFTF [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] and are currently planning to certify in the beginning of the first quarter, ”said the CME representative.

The CME’s Bitcoin futures trading product come onto the market on December 17, 2017 – just over three years ago. The exchange then launched Bitcoin options trading early 2020. Both products were received remarkable volume numbers and attention.