CME Group to launch 3 metaverse reference rates

Derivatives marketplace CME Group is planning to launch reference rates and real-time indices for three metaverse crypto assets, allowing investors to track pricing data more reliably using a methodology commonly used in traditional finance. 

Beginning Jan. 30, CME Group and CF Benchmarks will launch reference rates for Axie Infinity (AXS), Chiliz (CHZ) and Decentraland (MANA), the company announced on Jan. 5. The reference rates and indices are not tradeable products but instead can be used by investors to “price sector-specific portfolios, develop structured products … And manage price risk around various Metaverse-based projects,” said Giovanni Vicioso, CME Group’s head of cryptocurrency products.

The reference rates and real-time indices for AXS, CHZ and MANA will be calculated using pricing data from at least two crypto exchanges, including Bitstamp, Coinbase, Kraken, itBit and LMAX Digital. The assets’ reference rates will be priced in U.S. dollars and published daily at 4 p.m. London time; each real-time index will be published every second of every day.

Chiliz, the largest of the aforementioned metaverse plays, currently has a market capitalization of $742.1 million, according to CoinMarketCap. Axie has a market cap of $686.5 million and Decentraland is worth roughly $597.2 million.

CME Group has been active on the crypto scene, launching micro-sized Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) options last year. The derivatives marketplace also launched euro-denominated BTC and ETH options for institutional investors outside the United States.

Related: An overview of the metaverse in 2022

Metaverse tokens exploded in popularity during the previous crypto bull market, as dozens of projects promised to create virtual versions of the real world. Recognizing this potential opportunity, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021. Meta’s metaverse division has been hemorrhaging money since its inception, underscoring the difficulties of creating commercially viable products in the new virtual world.

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