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Nasdaq to launch bitcoin futures by mid-2018

Nasdaq to launch bitcoin futures by mid-2018

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As per reports, Nasdaq plans to launch bitcoin futures as early as the second quarter of 2018.

In brief:
As per reports, Nasdaq plans to launch bitcoin futures as early as the second quarter of 2018.


The world's second-largest stock exchange, National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (Nasdaq) will start offering bitcoin futures trading by mid-2018. Nasdaq and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. will list bitcoin futures within the first half of 2018, reports Wall Street Journal. The two financial institutions are moving fast on the integration of bitcoin, considering the cryptocurrency's recent rise in price, to $10,000 level.


According to the person, who asked to remain anonymous, Nasdaq will introduce the products as early as the second quarter, and the contracts will trade on its NFX market. Nasdaq Futures will list bitcoin futures and contracts, and this will enable investors in the traditional finance sector and stock brokerages to engage in bitcoin trading.


Cantor, a major US-based financial firm said in an interview with WSJ that it intends to launch bitcoin futures and derivatives on its flagship exchange.
Shawn Matthews, chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., explained during an interview, "The asset class is not going away. If you look at the next level, it will be the institutions coming in and being larger participants in the marketplace, especially as liquidity gets better."  He believes that cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that "is not going away," and that bitcoin is here to stay.


Cantor has a coveted advantage that it already holds a license from the industry regulator, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Considering the fact that CFTC has already approved several bitcoin futures listings including the bitcoin options, derivatives, and futures exchange of LedgerX, regulatory impediments in listing bitcoin are expected to be negligible for Cantor as well.


Bitcoin currently trades on virtually unregulated markets. Nasdaq, CME, and Cboe are heavily regulated, bringing an air of legitimacy that should help professional investors feel more comfortable participating. Moreover, Nasdaq's Bitcoin integration will encourage other exchanges to adopt bitcoin. Even some of the big exchanges, like Nodal Exchange, have started investigating the potential of listing bitcoin futures on their regulated exchanges and trading platforms.


According to reports by WSJ, John D'Agostino, a former Nymex executive, mentioned that most of the regulated exchanges are considering listing bitcoin futures. Things obviously are moving fast in the Bitcoin space, and as leading exchanges and markets such as CBOE, CME, Nasdaq, and Cantor move to implement bitcoin, he expects that the number of bitcoin futures exchanges will increase rapidly throughout 2018.


He said, "Every research department of every regulated exchange is saying, 'Can we do this? The majority of costs associated with that are in the marketing area. If people want to trade this thing, why wouldn't you? This is a gift from the heavens."


The integration of bitcoin futures in the beginning of the year 2017 could have required some marketing to attract investors within the traditional finance sector. And its amazing to see how fast things have changed within a span of 11 months. At present, just by integrating bitcoin is a perfect marketing strategy. Even, some reports state that if multi-billion dollar companies like Overstock switch their businesses to cryptocurrency-focused ventures, they are likely to see 70 to 100% rise in sales and market valuation.


Today, every exchange in the US and in the global finance market is planning to integrate bitcoin in the short-term because of widespread adoption of bitcoin and the boost in demand for cryptocurrencies. Nasdaq's plan is yet another sign of a large exchange operator pushing bitcoin further into the mainstream investing universe and is going to encourage more exchanges to follow the trend. Things are getting pretty darn interesting in the Bitcoin space, and cryptocurrencies in general.

 

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