Nasdaq Mulls Launching Bitcoin Futures in the New Year

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By Maud Guon Nov 29, 2018
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Nasdaq is still considering launching Bitcoin futures in the first quarter of 2019, in spite of the enduring crypto slump.

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, is expected to list Bitcoin futures contracts in Q1 next year, despite the ongoing crypto bear market, according to a report by Bloomberg.

As early as last November, when Bitcoin first pushed above $11,000 to an unprecedented high at the time, Nasdaq was first reported to be mulling the launch of Bitcoin futures. If the launch materializes, Nasdaq will become the third U.S. exchange to enter the crypto space, following the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Cboe Global Markets.

As the Bloomberg report put it, “Nasdaq has been working to satisfy the concerns of the U.S.’s main swaps regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, before launching the contracts.”

After CME and Cboe listed their Bitcoin futures, the CFTC enhanced its review process for crypto futures in February, 2018, with the purpose of better regulating new crypto products launched by U.S. exchanges.  

Back in January, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman pointed out that the exchange aims to launch Bitcoin futures contracts different from those already offered by its rivals. According to the Bloomberg report, “The Nasdaq futures will be based off the Bitcoin’s price on numerous spot exchanges, as compiled by VanEck Associates Corp.”

Nasdaq is partnering with VanEck—a New York-based investment management firm—to bring more financial products to the crypto market. As CoinDesk put it, “Gabor Gurbacs—VanEck’s Director of Digital Asset Strategy—announced the move to bring a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract to the market.”

Forbes analyst Joseph Young commented on Nasdaq’s plan in a Tweet, “The cryptocurrency industry is active and growing. Nasdaq [is] the latest to enter. The infrastructure is strengthening, regardless of price.”

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