Nasdaq Confirms Launch Of Bitcoin Futures By ‘First Half’ of 2019


Nasdaq, the second-largest stock exchange in the world, has confirmed that it will launch its Bitcoin futures products in the first half of 2019.

Nasdaq’s plans to have a crypto-based futures contract first surfaced via an anonymous insider source leak, with the details then pointing to early 2019 as the potential date for the derivative.

However, as reported in The Express, a U.K-based daily news outlet, the exchange has now confirmed that indeed those plans are underway.

The launch of the product, the publication reports, now only awaits the approval of the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Joseph Christinat, the vice president of the firm’s media team, noted that the exchange had done enough regarding what is needed to get the CFTC’s nod.

Christinat referred to the impending approval as simply ‘academic,’ before going on to confirm that the derivative product will launch within the first six months of 2019. He also added that Nasdaq was “doing this, and it’s happening.”

According to Christinat, Nasdaq has been exploring the feasibility of getting into the crypto investment industry for a long time now, “for years” as quoted by The Express.

As for the Bitcoin (BTC) futures scheduled for launch early next year, Nasdaq’s VP of media said that the everything was under control as the firm had worked on the product for “most” part of the year.

He added that the massive amount of effort and money put into the product meant that they were serious about Bitcoin futures. Even the current market turmoil cannot influence the exchange’s decision.

He told the news outlet:

“We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this, and we’ve been all over it for a long time — way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”

During the interview, Christinat did not confirm what type of Bitcoin futures they would be offering; whether it would be physically settled or cash-backed.

Physically-settled contracts are paid out in actual BTC, unlike the cash-backed ones that are paid out in fiat currency, only following the price of BTC.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) and CME Group first launched cash-settled futures contracts in December 2017. Interest in the products has seen the CME Bitcoin futures daily trading volumes rise significantly since Q1, spiking by over 41 percent in Q3.

Despite delays, the crypto market is expected to have the first physically-delivered Bitcoin futures in January 2019.  Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), operator of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), will launch its daily BTC futures contracts on its Bakkt platform by the end of January next year.

Nasdaq reportedly considered offering BTC futures for the first time by June 2018.  However, the stock exchange soon after decided against it, saying that it wanted to study the market and create a unique product.

The firm has since partnered with VanEck to create a range of crypto products, including the futures contracts product that is “transparent, regulated and surveilled.”

VanEck is an investment firm that has applied to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval to offer a physically backed Bitcoin ETF. The U.S firm’s representatives, alongside those from SolidX and CBOE, recently met with SEC officials to make a case for the much anticipated ETF product.

The securities regulator is yet to greenlight any exchange-traded funds, one of the products that experts say will help attract big money from institutional investors.

(Source: Express)

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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