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CME expands its crypto pricing data to include Tezos, other coins

NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) - CME Group on Thursday said it will expand its suite of cryptocurrency pricing data to include three more digital currencies, a move that lays a foundation for more crypto-related financial products, such as new futures and options contracts.

The futures exchange operator said it, along with cryptocurrency benchmark indices provider CF Benchmarks, will begin publishing daily settlement prices and real-time pricing data for the cryptocurrencies Avalanche, Filecoin and Tezos, on Oct. 31.

While the rates themselves are not tradeable, they increase transparency for digital currencies and can be used to create regulated products, such as bitcoin futures, which CME launched in 2018 and have become popular with institutional investors looking to gain cryptocurrency exposure and hedge risk.

CME's pricing data, which includes bitcoin and ether prices, along with 11 other cryptocurrencies, will capture 92% of the investable cryptocurrency market capitalization once the new benchmarks are added, said Giovanni Vicioso, CME's global head of cryptocurrency products.

"These new benchmarks are designed to allow traders, institutions and other users to access a much broader range of cryptocurrencies through a suite of products they are already familiar with, allowing them to confidently and more accurately manage cryptocurrency price risk, value portfolios or create structured products like ETFs," he said, referring to exchange-traded funds.

The pricing data will be calculated using trades from at least two cryptocurrency exchanges, which include Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, itBit, Kraken, and LMAX Digital, Chicago-based CME said. (Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Jonathan Oatis)