Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange by terms of market capitalization, is looking to introduce a Bitcoin futures market. Moreover, the exchange would reportedly launch as early as the first quarter of 2019.
This news comes from a fresh Bloomberg report. Sources say that Nasdaq has been actively cooperating with the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to receive regulatory clearance.
Nasdaq expects ”sustained interest” in crypto
According to the Bloomberg report, Nasdaq is betting big on ”sustained interest” in the cryptocurrency sphere next year. This is despite the recent market plunges experienced by Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies.
More specifically, Nasdaq is said to be applying to become a CFTC-compliant cryptocurrency futures market operator.
”Nasdaq has been working t satisfy the concerns of the US’ main swaps regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, before launching the contracts, the people said. The New York exchange operator, which was first reported to be eyeing Bitcoin futures last year, wants to allow trading in the first quarter of 2019,” the Bloomberg report states.
This is not the first time that an actor has been looking to trade Bitcoin and cryptocurrency futures. CME Group and Cboe Global Markets began trading Bitcoin futures contracts last December, after using an ”expedited self-certification process”.
Nevertheless, the CFTC then announced that they would have an ”enhanced review process” for any exchanges looking to list derivatives related to virtual currencies.
Nasdaq’s Bitcoin futures based on price from ”numerous spot exchanges”
Sources are now saying that Nasdaq’s futures will reportedly be ”based off […] Bitcoin’s price on numerous spot exchanges, as compiled by VanEck Associates.” Anecdotally, VanEck has also been vying to gain regulatory approval, albeit from the SEC for a cryptocurrency ETF.
Whilst the CME Bitcoin futures use prices from four different markets, Cboe only uses prices from a single one.
This comes following earlier statements from Nasdaq’s CEO, Adena Friedman, who stressed that its cryptocurrency plans would differ from competitors.
Nasdaq is not the only large actor looking to soon release a Bitcoin trading derivative. The New York Stock Exchange’s owner, Intercontinental Exchange, recently revealed that it would launch Bitcoin futures contracts of its own on January 24th.
It remains to be seen exactly how all of this plays out. Some might, however, no doubt find it ironic that financial institutions seem to finally be entering the cryptocurrency market as it hits year-lows.
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Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.