Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) president Chris Concannon has signaled the potential introduction of Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash futures. This comes just a day after the U.S. Commodity Futures Commission (CFTC) announced CBOE and two other exchanges could proceed with their own bitcoin-based futures products.

Meanwhile, CME, a rival futures exchange, is also primed to release its Bitcoin Futures product on December 18th. CBOE plans to launch its initial bitcoin offering by the end of the year.

This is one step closer to “institutionalizing” bitcoin, a goal which has seen quite a bit of criticism from all sides.

Representatives from the Nasdaq exchange also announced a vision of bitcoin futures on their own platform. However, it seems the plan went against Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman’s own thoughts — she said the exchange “doesn’t tend to get engaged in the bleeding edge”.

In the future, ever fluctuating bitcoin price may even stabilize when traded at Nasdaq — the world’s second largest exchange by market capitalization, second to New York Stock Exchange.

CBOE Head-To-Head With CME

CBOE, the largest options exchange in the United States, still hasn’t announced a date for when it intends to launch its bitcoin futures.

CBOE logoNevertheless, Concannon made sure to insinuate that CBOE was actually the first financial company to head down the bitcoin futures route, indirectly pointing to CME head Terry Duffy and saying: “I applaud Terry Duffy in joining us in this endeavor. This is just the beginning of what will become a major asset class over the next 10 years.”

Additional cryptocurrency futures may take some time, said a CME spokesperson. He said:

“We started down this road in the form of an ETF.” He added that there are still many things to work on before going head-on, he stated: “A healthy market is a healthy underlying market, derivatives markets, and an ETF. That will take time.”

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who has constantly attacked bitcoin for years, might see it as “fraud”. However, one of JPMorgan’s leading strategists Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou second-guessed his boss, saying bitcoin futures could exalt virtual currencies into “an emerging asset class”.

According to a report by CNBC, Panigirtzoglou said: “The prospective launch of bitcoin futures contracts by established exchanges in particular has the potential to add legitimacy and thus increase the appeal of the cryptocurrency market bot retail and institutional investors.”

Bitcoin Got the Attention, yet Ethereum Also Grew Considerably

The green flag to launch bitcoin futures indicates a maturing digital asset market.

Usually, BTC takes all the limelight in the cryptocurrency business. However, Ethereum has also seen a substantial growth of around 4,000 percent in 2017. It is the second-biggest digital asset and might soon get its own derivatives market.

Ethereum logoRecently, a secretive exchange that goes by the name “Virtuoso” has planned to offer contracts on its ether (ETH) currency. The company intends to provide swaps and forwards, non-deliverable forwards, and futures.

The cryptocurrency markets’ advancement into futures will aid traditional investors to dive in. However, many are still skeptical of the rush to launch bitcoin derivatives.

Thomas Peterffy, chairman of Interactive Brokers, one of the largest derivatives traders, said bitcoin isn’t ready. In an open letter to CFTC chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, he wrote:

“Cryptocurrencies do not have a mature, regulated and tested underlying market. The products and their markets have existed for fewer than 10 years and bear little if any relationship to any economic circumstance or reality in the world.”

Do you think Bitcoin futures will help stabilize fluctuating cryptocurrency prices? Let’s hear your thoughts.


Images via CBOE, Chicago Tribune

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