Nasdaq Vice President Joseph Christinat has confirmed that the exchange will launch Bitcoin Futures in the first half of 2019, pending regulatory approval from the CFTC. Traditional banking institutions have been increasingly open to including the emerging asset class.
Nasdaq has been preparing the launch of Bitcoin Futures for most of 2018 after years of studying the asset class. Vice President Joseph Christinat has confirmed the impending listing to Express.
“Bitcoin Futures will be listed and it should launch in the first half of next year – we’re just waiting for the go-ahead from the CFTC but there’s been enough work put into this to make that academic. We’ve seen plenty of speculation and rumors about what we might be doing, but no one has thought to come to us and ask if we can confirm it, so, here you go – we’re doing this, and it’s happening.”
While Bitcoin currently struggles at the $4,000 area, the number one cryptocurrency was worth the triple exactly one year ago. The spectacular volatility has attracted many traders and investors. The institutional side of the market has shown much interest, especially since 2018, but Nasdaq was invested in the sector years before, Christinat explained.
“We got into the blockchain game five years ago, and when the technology first popped up we just leant out of the window and shouted ‘hey come over here’ right at it. “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.”
IG Group Chief Market Analyst Chris Beauchamp welcomed “anything that broadens out the liquidity of bitcoin and encourages usability”. David Cheetham, a market analyst at UK-based broker XTB, believes that the listing of Bitcoin Futures by Nasdaq would be a form of legitimizing the cryptocurrency market, which is a game changer in terms of acceptance.
“Broadly speaking, there is always a risk when dealing with unregulated spaces so they would much rather look to use futures and that may even create serious solidity in the market.”
Rumors of Nasdaq’s intention of listing Bitcoin Futures in early 2019 emerged in late November. The news appeared almost a year after Nasdaq announced its plans to do so. Much has happened since then. The price of Bitcoin has gone up through the roof only to experience its sharpest fall in a year, in absolute terms.
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