Eurex, the derivatives exchange that is part of Deutsche Börse Group, is set to provide trading in Bitcoin index futures on 17 April, giving it a claim to be the first exchange in Europe to offer such trading.

The new futures contract has been developed with index provider FTSE Russell and Digital Asset Research, the provider of digital asset data.

Eures said that the launch of the FTSE Bitcoin Index Futures marked a "milestone" in its ambition to offer "safe and trusted access to cryptocurrencies in a regulated market environment.

"By partnering with FTSE Russell and DAR, Deutsche Börse Group's derivatives exchange corresponds to the increasing demand for a cash settled index-based contract. Institutional investors have been waiting for a contract based on a robust underlying index from an established index partner, which is supported by an AA-rated clearing house in Europe. The new contract complements Eurex's already listed BTCetc ETN Futures with physical delivery." 

"The underlying FTSE Bitcoin Index reflects the settlement price of Bitcoin as determined by the FTSE DAR Reference Price. The new futures contracts are traded in EUR and USD. Liquidity will be supported by orderbook and over-the-counter liquidity providers. This represents a step forward in meeting investor needs for accurate price discovery, transparency, and consistency in the digital asset market."

Michael Peters, CEO of Eurex, said: "Investors need robust trading and clearing safeguards when engaging in the crypto market. We are looking forward to cooperating with FTSE Russell and Digital Asset Research to jointly deliver superior transparency, consistency, and safeguards to this emerging asset class."

Arne Staal, CEO of FTSE Russell, which is part of the London Stock Exchange Group, said: "We are excited for this next step in the expansion of the digital asset ecosystem to meet institutional investor client risk management needs. Our digital asset indices apply the same rigorous index policy and governance framework used with our equity and fixed income products. Perhaps most importantly in this market, in collaboration with DAR, we have created a vetting methodology to set a standard for digital asset and exchange index inclusion, that offers consistent prices reflective of the real investable market to the investor community."