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LSEG’s LCH Secures Regulatory Nod for Bitcoin Index Derivatives Clearing

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 1 min read
LSEG's LCH Secures Nod for Bitcoin Index Derivatives Clearing

The London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) Parisian clearinghouse affiliate LCH SA announced Monday that it received regulatory approval to provide clearing services for Bitcoin derivatives.

LCH SA will leverage its newly established service, LCH DigitalAssetClear, to provide clearing functions for relevant contracts. These contracts are traded on UK FCA-regulated digital asset derivatives trading venue GFO-X.

This collaborative approach ensures that the clearing service prioritizes security and adheres to stringent regulatory frameworks. It will cater specifically to the digital asset derivatives market.

LCH DigitalAssetClear has three key features to ensure stability. These include fund separation to protect users in case of defaults, a customized risk management system, and clear rules specifically for this service. LCH SA is finalizing details with its partners and aims to launch the service by the end of 2024.

This announcement comes about a year after LCH initially disclosed plans to act as a central clearinghouse for GFO-X.

New Contracts Based on Established Index

Since LCH SA operates in France, it requires approval from both the French authorities – the ACPR (Prudential Supervisory Authority) and the AMF (capital markets regulator). Additionally, on a European level, it needed authorization from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and also from LCH’s EMIR College, made up of representatives from 19 different regulatory bodies across 11 countries.

The affiliate’s new Bitcoin futures and options contracts will be settled on the GFO-X/Coin Metrics Single Asset Real-Time Bitcoin Index (GFOXBR). This index tracks the US dollar price of Bitcoin and complies with European regulations for reference rates. This allows companies to trade contracts directly linked to the Bitcoin price index.

LCH DigitalAssetClear Ensures Stability in Bitcoin Market

LCH DigitalAssetClear will function as a completely separate system for clearing these new Bitcoin contracts. This includes keeping a separate fund to protect users in case of defaults and using specific rules tailored for this market.

By using LCH DigitalAssetClear, participants will gain advantages from LCH SA’s established methods for reducing risk, settling transactions, and optimizing margins, all within a regulated environment.

Last month, the LSE revealed plans to launch exchange-traded notes for Bitcoin and Ether, with a start date set for May 28.