CBOE to Launch Ethereum Futures by the End of 2018

In a remarkable leap forward for the Ethereum community, the Chicago-based futures exchange is planning to expand the product offering with Ether futures, Business Insyider reported. According to an August 30 report, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) told market makers that the debut of Ether futures is getting close.

A Big Step in the Evolution of Crypto

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

Futures of ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency as per market capitalization, could launch by the end of 2018, Business Insider reported citing a person with knowledge of the situation.

Cboe, the largest options and futures exchange in the U.S., is said to be waiting on additional clarity from the CFTC before launching.

Bitcoin futures are already on the CBOE, with many experts believing that it helped propel the cryptocurrency to its highest price back in December 2017.

Citing anonymous insiders, Business Insider reported that the Ether futures would most likely be based on the underlying market of New York-based and regulated crypto exchange Gemini.

As Cboe’s bitcoin futures were based on the NY crypto-exchange run by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, it makes sense for the company to stay in line with their previous plan.

Mixed Reactions

While Cboe is waiting for approval from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), crypto investors and enthusiasts have expressed relative optimism about the move.

Experts in the field have noted that the launch of Ether futures would expand the trading opportunities and could pave the way for eventual regulatory approval for ETFs. However, attempts to list various ETFs on regulated U.S. markets have been quickly shut down by the SEC.

“Cboe’s offering will enable crypto traders to take both long and short positions in Ether, and it’s another step forward to a new accepted asset class. With this, I think the new investment opportunity will take crypto out of the bearish market and reverse to a new bull,” Danny Kim of crypto trading technology company SFOX told Business Insider.

Despite many seeing this as a giant leap forward for cryptocurrencies, not everyone is happy about the possible mainstream adoption.

Preston Byrne, founder and former COO of Monax, however, called the move “unacceptable”.

“Launching futures contracts on a cryptocurrency where 70% of the coins outstanding were known to be in the hands of fewer than 100 people, which may well have been borne out of an unlawful securities offering, is unacceptable,” he tweeted on August 30.

Following the SEC’s June announcement that Ethereum could not be viewed as a security, CBOE Global Markets president Chris Concannon said the company was satisfied with the decision

“This announcement clears a key stumbling block for Ether futures, the case for which we’ve been considering since we launched the first Bitcoin futures in December 2017,” Concannon told Bloomberg

Cboe launched its Bitcoin futures early in December 2017, beating its rival, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) by just a few days.


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