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Ethereum (ETH) Futures Rumors Mount, As CBOE’s Bitcoin Foray Turns One

CBOE’s Bitcoin Foray Turns One

As noted by Tom Hearden, a senior trader at Skylands Capital, subsequently relayed through MarketWatch, one year and one day ago, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE Global Markets) made history, becoming one of the first financial institutions to launch a fully-fledged Bitcoin (BTC) product.

Now that crypto is in the midst of a bear market, might as well look back and reminisce… right?

This instrument was, of course, a BTC-backed futures contract that became an industry hot topic near-instantly. Still, in Ethereum World News’ original report on the matter, which seems decades old now, community members divulged that they were dissatisfied with the product’s launch, as the Chicago-based institution’s webpage crashes just eight minutes after the launch of the first bonafide BTC futures. Yet, during that day in history, December 11th, 2017, BTC purportedly rose from $14,500 to $15,700 in minutes, presumably due to the influx of interest that speculators expected.

In fact, spot and futures BTC rose so fast that CBOE, likely inundated with queries from investors worldwide, had to halt trading on its market… twice. And now, amid the market lull, catalyzed by the absence of Bitcoin bulls, CBOE’s enamorment with halting trade is as apparent as ever. Case in point, the institution had to adjust its “Lower Price Limit” percentage twice, when the futures price hit $3,160, the year-to-date low.

Mati Greenspan spoke to the aforementioned financial media outlet on the matter of the Bitcoin futures, lauding them as a resounding success: He wrote:

They’ve managed to open up the market to users who otherwise wouldn’t have access, so in that regard, I think they have been somewhat of a success. Not only did they allow people to go long, but it opened up short selling to a wider audience.

While the eToro in-house crypto analyst painted the product in a good light, as it broadened Bitcoin’s horizons, MarketWatch noted that CBOE data indicates that the product failed to catalyze an unparalleled influx of institutional money.

Bakkt, Nasdaq, and ErisX To All Launch Bitcoin Futures

Although CBOE’s in-house crypto instrument might not have garnered boatloads of investment interest, there remain a number of firms looking to unveil futures for Bitcoin, and reportedly even Ethereum.

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, Bakkt, a diverse crypto startup partnered with the Intercontinental Exchange, Starbucks, and Microsoft, has the intent to launch a physically-backed Bitcoin futures product by January 24th, 2019, in an industry first.

ErisX, backed by TD Ameritrade, issued a similar announcement, seemingly aiming to undermine its rival in Bakkt. Not much is known about this venture, but many expect that it will offer a product roster that mirrors or somewhat resembles that of Bakkt.

Most recently, Nasdaq, the world-renowned financial institution, divulged that it is working in collaboration with crypto-friendly VanEck, to bring “crypto 2.0 futures” to market, with the firm presumably looking at Ethereum and Bitcoin as supported assets. Bloomberg has revealed that Nasdaq is planning to publicly embark on its first notable crypto foray by Q1 of 2019, pending a green light from the U.S. CFTC.

 

Ethereum Product Rumored

Even with all this hype surrounding Bitcoin-centric futures, a new contender is expected, if not slated to emerge into crypto’s alternative investment vehicle scene. This, if you haven’t guessed already, is Ether (ETH), the native asset of the “world computer” that is the Ethereum Network.

Just recently, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) hinted that it is looking into ETH. In a statement, the prominent American financial regulator claimed that it was seeking the public’s opinion on digital currencies, most notably Ethereum. In a public release, the somewhat crypto-friendly body wrote:

The RFI [Request For Information] also seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between Ether and bitcoin, as well as Ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.

It is believed that the entity is seeking feedback to precede its ruling on an Ether-backed vehicle, such as purported Ethereum futures contracts backed by CBOE. Yet, a number of crypto commentators recently took to Twitter to allude to the theory that if Ethereum-backed futures, even a non-physical instrument, goes live, the aforementioned blockchain’s native asset may actually fall, due to “rehypothecation” — a common sight in traditional financial industries.

Confetti Title Image Courtesy of Jason Leung on Unsplash

The post Ethereum (ETH) Futures Rumors Mount, As CBOE’s Bitcoin Foray Turns One appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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SEC Delays Decision on Bitcoin ETF, Sets Deadline for Late February

The SEC has delayed its decision on rule change proposals to list a VanEck, SolidX Bitcoin ETF until Feb. 27, 2019.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has again postponed its decision on the first ever Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), according to an official document published Thursday, Dec. 6.

The SEC set the new deadline for Feb. 27, 2019 in order to further review the rule change proposals to list a Bitcoin ETF by investment firm VanEck and blockchain company SolidX on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE):

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

Under the Securities and Exchange Act, the commission must “issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change not later than 180 days” after the date of publication of notice. If the commission deems it necessary, it may subsequently extent that period by 60 days.

As the proposed rule change was first published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2018, the maximum period of consideration falls 240 days later, on Feb. 27, 2019.

Both VanEck and SolidX firms filed with the SEC to list a Bitcoin-based ETF on June, 6. Subsequently in August, the commission delayed its decision on listing the ETF until Sept. 30.

The commission then requested further comments regarding the decision, claiming that the agency has not “reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues” on the rule change.

In early October, the commission set a deadline for submitting comments about proposed rule changes related to a number of applications for Bitcoin ETFs.

Last week, the SEC published a memorandum on a meeting with representatives from VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE. The applicants claimed there was precedent for a Bitcoin ETF based on other commodities with ETFs like gold and crude oil.

Recently, SEC commissioner Hester Peirce, who is known for her pro-crypto stance, receiving the title of “crypto mom,” claimed that a Bitcoin ETF could come “tomorrow or in 20 years.” She said:

“Don’t hold your breath. Look, it took a long time for SEC even to establish Finhub.”

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What to Expect If Ether Futures Become a Reality?

The possible launch of Ether futures could have both positive and negative ramifications for the cryptocurrency.

Less than a year after the launch of the first ever futures contracts for Bitcoin, Ethereum could be the second cryptocurrency to be traded on regulated futures exchanges.

It’s understood that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the same platform that launched Bitcoin futures in December 2017, is waiting for the green light from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to launch Ethereum options by the end of 2018.

The CBOE will base its ETH contracts on the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange market — the base it already uses for its Bitcoin futures.

With the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formally declaring that Ethereum was not classed as a security in June, the path ahead was seemingly paved for the prospective launch of ETH futures.

At the time, CBOE president Chris Concannon hailed the decision, saying ETH contracts had been a talking point since late 2017:

“We are pleased with the SEC’s decision to provide clarity with respect to current Ether transactions. 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.”

Just three months later, there are very real grumblings that this could come to fruition, much like the build up to the eventual launch of Bitcoin futures in 2017.

The CBOE has indicated to Cointelegraph that it is indeed looking at Ethereum futures, highlighting Concannon’s interview with Quarts in June, where he laid out their thoughts on the cryptocurrency and the possibility of a futures contract:

“Ether is one of the more highly liquid cryptocurrencies out there. Along with Bitcoin, the demand is much higher in Ether than any other cryptocurrency on the market. We’ll look at launching futures in the near term, but there’s a process we have to go through before even announcing such a launch. That process is something we’ve talked to the CFTC about at length and certainly want to take steps along that process and make sure everybody is comfortable with the next product we announce.”

According to Concannon, there is significant demand and appetite for Ether futures. Having successfully launched Bitcoin futures, the CBOE hopes to use that same product design and structure and apply it to any cryptocurrency futures that may be looked at in the future.

The CBOE wouldn’t divulge any more details at this point in time, saying the relevant information would be communicated in due time.

What could happen

While the finite details of when we can expect to see these Ether futures launched is yet to be revealed, the possibility of these new offerings had a neutral effect on different cryptocurrency values.

The price of ETH turned around from a slight slump on August 31, which could be attributed to these initial reports. The price of Bitcoin showed a similar movement pattern, with a strong uptick on the same day.

Crypto market 31.08.–01.09.2018. Source: coin360.io

In response to the first reports of the CBOE’s plans, Fundstrat’s co-founder Tom Lee told Business Insider that Ether futures would have an initial negative impact on the price of the cryptocurrency:

“Since December of this year, if one was bearish on any aspect of crypto but did not want to own the underlying, they could short BTC. They can now short Ethereum, [which] means the net short on BTC in futures would fall.”

Good or bad?

It is not easy to predict what any market will do, and this is especially true for cryptocurrencies. However, big moves like this by mainstream financial institutions seem to influence the price of cryptocurrencies.

Cointelegraph spoke to eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan to get an educated view on how the launch of Ether futures could potentially affect the price of the cryptocurrency.

Greenspan was upbeat about the possibility, saying that Wall Street is working hard to build bridges to the crypto market, calling the launch of Ether futures a critical next step.

While some people on social media cited concerns that aggressive shorting would hurt the value of Ether, Greenspan offered a counterargument to that point:

“The ability to go short is a critical component of price discovery. So this is ultimately a healthy thing for the market.”

Furthermore, Greenspan believes that an Ether futures contract will put the cryptocurrency in the spotlight, which could very well attract new investors with deep pockets. The eToro analyst also believes that it could have a knock-on effect for other cryptocurrencies:

“Crypto prices are correlated strongly with each other. So anything that’s good for Ethereum should be good for Bitcoin and vice versa. So far, the futures volumes on Bitcoin have been relatively small and insignificant to the rest of the market, but as interest from institutional investors changes, we should be seeing higher volumes and new ways to trade them.”

While Greenspan offers a far more optimistic prediction of things to come, there are those that have a more cautious view of the potential launch of Ether futures.

Phillip Nunn, CEO of Wealth Chain Capital, told Cointelegraph that there is potential for certain investors to short Ether, which could have some serious consequences for companies that have launched ICOs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Nunn likens the launch of BTC futures to the FX markets some 30 years ago, where futures markets had a big sway on markets:

“2018 has seen a massive shift in the behaviour of crypto mainly due to the advent of Bitcoin futures, the charts have been different and clearly there has been market manipulation and “whales” dominating the market either way. Someone is making a lot of money. It’s similar the the FX markets in the 80’s and 90’s where it was easy to influence markets via longs and shorts.”

Furthermore, Nunn sites the risk futures pose to companies that have raised money using ERC20 tokens:

“I worry for ETH on a couple of levels. Firstly it’s market cap is a lot smaller than Bitcoin and I think ETH futures could see it dipping under $150 maybe even $100. Add to that that 95% of ICO’s raise money with ERC20 tokens in ETH, if an ICO has raised say $20m dollars and holds in ETH, suddenly that halves and I think it will trigger sell offs by these companies to BTC or FIAT to protect their interests.”

A different outcome?

While the crypto futures trail has been blazed by Bitcoin, it may well be difficult to draw any early conclusions from the launch of BTC futures in December 2017.

Shortly after the CBOE and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) launched their respective futures offerings, Bitcoin reached its all-time high of just over $20,000, before a humbling correction left markets in the red and reeling for months.

While various factors played a role in the significant pull-back in the cryptocurrency markets, it made life difficult when it came to judging how BTC futures affected the markets and influenced prices.

In July, CME indicated that it would not launch any other cryptocurrency futures offerings. However, it did release data that showed BTC futures average daily volume had increased by 93 percent over the first quarter of 2018.

Considering the growth in the number of BTC futures contracts midway through 2018, it could be fair to assume that there is a growing appetite for these type of financial offerings in the cryptocurrency space.

Nevertheless, the possible launch of Ether futures will be a space that will be keenly monitored in the months to come. As Nunn summed up in his comments to Cointelegraph, price prediction in the crypto space have been as good as a shot in the dark:

“Of course I could be wrong and it could fly to $1000 but it seems the futures strategies serve to stifle the true growth of crypto, This has certainly been the case with Bitcoin as all price predictions are out of the window.”

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Tom Lee: CBOE Ethereum Futures May Hurt ETH, But Benefit Bitcoin (BTC)

BTC Could Rise As A Result of Ethereum Futures

Even in a market downturn, development in this nascent industry rages, with firms continually releasing innovative products and services that could change the future of crypto. And as reported by Ethereum World News previously, the CBOE, the foremost US-based options exchange, is just months away from launching Ether futures that will be based on Gemini markets.

This news immediately sparked speculation about the effect this vehicle would have on the market, with many optimists noting that this futures contract should help to propel the price, development, and maturation of Ethereum, and subsequently, the growth of this industry.

While many agreed with this hope, Tom Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, expects this news to benefit the price of Bitcoin (BTC) more than the price of Ethereum (ETH).

Speaking with Business Insider reporters, Lee, who has become well-known, if not near-infamous for his seemingly undying bullish sentiment on Bitcoin, noted that Ether futures will allow speculators to weigh down on the price of ETH.

His claims seem to be corroborated by the historical price action of Bitcoin following the initial CBOE and CME futures release. Since Bitcoin futures debuted in mid-December of last year, prices tanked, with Bitcoin briefly touching $20,000 before tumbling to $7,200 as it stands today. Some think thatEthereum Blockchain Token this is no unfortunate coincidence, but rather, the effect of short sellers placing bets against Bitcoin via the futures market.

As such, the Fundstrat Bitcoin bull then noted that the same effect, albeit likely not as drastic, could occur this time around as well, with the planned December 2018 introduction of the CBOE-backed Ether futures contract potentially lining up with a substantial decline in the price of ETH.

On the other hand, however, Lee added that the introduction of Ether futures may alleviate some of the pain placed on Bitcoin by bears, as the short interest may translate from the BTC contract to the ETH contract. The Fundstrat executive elaborated, stating:

“Since December of this year, if one was bearish on any aspect of crypto but did not want to own the underlying, they could short BTC. They can now short eth, means the net short on BTC in futures would fall.”

Some skeptics of this theory pointed out that it is somewhat counterintuitive, but upon thinking about it further, it is clear that Tom Lee’s thought does hold some credence at the very least.

Ethereum has already had a bad year, so many are hoping that the eventual introduction of these futures will not hamper the price of the asset further. But for now, only time will tell what the short to mid-term fate of the second largest crypto asset will be.

At the time of writing, Ethereum is down 1.4% in the past 24 hours, as it currently sits at $294 after falling from yesterday’s highs at $303.

ethereumImage Courtesy of TradingView.com

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Bitcoin Hovers Nears $7K, as Wider Market Tips Back Into the Green

Friday, August 30: following the mid-week’s strong upswing, the crypto markets subsequently saw widespread corrections, but most cryptocurrencies are today consolidating these higher lows. The vast majority of cryptos are in the green, as Coin360 data shows.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at around $6,925 at press time, up around 1 percent on the day, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin price index.

Having broken through the $7,000 threshold earlier this week, the top coin began to dip August 29, trading as low as $6,827 by August 30.

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart

Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

On the week, Bitcoin remains up a solid 6.45 percent, and has closed its monthly losses to around 10.6 percent.

Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $277 at press time, seeing a negligible percentage change on the day. The altcoin has barely budged in response to bullish news that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is looking to launch ETH futures by the end of 2018.

Having seen a strong price surge August 28-29, Ethereum is now back within the trading range it jaggedly held between August 20 and August 27. On its weekly chart, Ethereum is up 2 percent, with monthly losses at a hefty 35.6 percent.

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

All of the top ten coins are in the green, with most coins seeing minor gains. These include Stellar (XLM) – up 1.3 percent at around $0.22 – Ripple (XRP), up 0.4 percent to trade at $0.33 – and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), up 1.3 percent at $538.7.

EOS (EOS) is a strong outlier, up a bullish 5 percent on the day to trade at $6.22, capping a volatile week that nonetheless shows strong positive momentum.

EOS’ 7-day price chart

EOS’ 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top twenty coins, Monero (XLM) is the strongest performer, up 10 percent on the day to trade at $107.78 at press time. Having dipped in accordance with yesterday’s market-wide correction, Monero has today surged beyond its trading levels earlier this week.

Monero’s 7-day price chart

Monero’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Other top twenty coins are seeing 24-hour growth of between 2 and 4 percent.

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $224.7 billion at press time, down $8.5 billion from its weekly peak at $233.2 billion.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Good news for the Asian crypto markets has been forthcoming this week, as Japanese social messaging giant LINE announced the launch its own cryptocurrency and in-house blockchain, and Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten – which has a market capitalization of over $12.5 billion – has unveiled a $2.4 million deal to acquire domestic crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin.

On Monday, the government of a South Korean province revealed it would issue its own blockchain-based digital currency in a move to replace a state loyalty scheme. The news comes at a pivotal time for the Korean crypto space, as the country’s parliament debates legalizing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and even creating a Malta-style “Blockchain Island.”

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Report: CBOE to Launch Ethereum Futures Trading Later This Year

CBOE Global Markets, the owner of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, is looking to launch futures for Ethereum (ETH), Business Insider reported August 30.

Sources familiar with the situation told Business Insider that CBOE Global Markets is planning to launch ETH futures by the end of 2018. CBOE will reportedly base its ETH futures on Gemini’s underlying market; the operator also based its Bitcoin (BTC) futures on the New York-based crypto exchange run by the Winklevoss twins.

The CBOE launched BTC futures trading in December last year. Futures represent an agreement to buy and sell an asset on a specific future date at a specific price, and enable investors to speculate on the BTC price without actually having to own BTC. BTC futures are not just for physical assets, they can be traded on financial assets as well.

A person familiar with the matter told Business Insider that the futures and options exchange is waiting on the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to give the project the go-ahead before its official launch.

Another major U.S. financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said in June that Ethereum was not a security. CBOE Global Markets president Chris Concannon then said, “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.”

Last month, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) released a report on BTC futures average daily volume, saying that it increased by 93 percent in the second quarter over the first quarter of 2018. The CME also stated that the rate of open interest or the number of open contracts on BTC futures has exceeded 2,400, which amounted to 58 percent increase in Q1.

The CME launched BTC futures trading on December 17, following the launch of BTC futures by the CBOE. Later in July, the CME CEO Terry Duffy said that the company will not introduce futures on cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin (BTC) in the near future, citing their volatility as the major reason.

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SEC Rejects 9 Bitcoin ETF Applications from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected a total of nine applications to list and trade various Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from three different applicants, according to a three separate orders published by the SEC today, August 22.

The disapprovals come one day ahead of the anticipated deadline, August 23, stipulated for a pair of BTC ETFs that had been submitted by ProShares in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ETF exchange NYSE Arca.

The SEC has now rejected a further seven proposed ETFs alongside the ProShares pair –– these being five further proposed ETFs from Direxion, also for listing on NYSE Arca –– and two proposals from GraniteShares, for listing on CBOE.

For all three disapprovals, the SEC has stated that:

“[T]he Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, the Exchange has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

All three applications had proposed futures-based Bitcoin ETFs. The SEC has today reinforced its qualms over inadequate “resistance to price manipulation” in an insufficiently sized BTC derivatives market. In the case of ProShares’ two ETFs –– and repeated in the two other disapproval orders –– the SEC has stated that:

“Among other things, the Exchange has offered no record evidence to demonstrate that bitcoin futures markets are ‘markets of significant size.’ That failure is critical because, as explained below, the Exchange has failed to establish that other means to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices will be sufficient, and therefore surveillance-sharing with a regulated market of significant size related to bitcoin is necessary.”

As a March 2018 registration statement from the SEC noted, “the [ProShares] Funds do not intend to hold Bitcoin Futures Contracts through expiration, but instead intend to either close or ‘roll’ their respective positions.” This had been specifically designated as a potential risk for the two ETFs in question –– in addition to the “extreme volatility and low liquidity” attributed to both Bitcoin spot and derivatives markets.

In today’s three orders, the SEC has however notably stated that:

“[The agency] emphasizes that its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.”

The SEC’s fresh disapprovals echo the concerns the agency had already articulated in its initial rejection of a high-profile Bitcoin ETF application from the Winklevoss twins in March 2017:

”When the spot market is unregulated –– there must be significant, regulated derivatives markets related to the underlying asset with which the Exchange can enter into a surveillance-sharing agreement.”

This July the SEC rejected the Winklevoss’ petition following their initial application’s denial, in which the twins claim that crypto markets are “uniquely resistant to manipulation.” In their rejection of the petition, the agency said that “the record before the Commission does not support such a conclusion.”

At the beginning of August, the SEC delayed its decision over yet another Bitcoin ETF application –– this time filed by by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, for trading on CBOE. Notably, instead of proposing a Bitcoin futures-based fund, the application proposed a physically-backed model, which will raise the further question of custody.

Bitcoin is currently trading around $6,380, down about 2.2 percent on the day to press time.

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ICE’s Bakkt CEO: Platform Won't Support Margin Trading, Contracts to Be Fully Collateralized

Bakkt —  the forthcoming regulated global ecosystem for crypto assets recently unveiled by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) —  will not support margin trading for its Bitcoin (BTC) contract, according to an official Medium post published August 20.

Earlier this month, ICE –– the operator of 23 leading global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) –– had unveiled ambitious plans to create a “seamless” global ecosystem for digital assets that would cover the spectrum from federally regulated markets and warehousing to merchant and consumer needs.

The announcement notably revealed plans to offer a 1-day physically delivered BTC contract by November, subject to pending approval from US regulators.

Bakkt’s CEO Kelly Loeffler has today outlined the three cornerstones of the project, which she says will aim to establish a “consistent regulatory construct,” institutional-grade pre- and post-trade infrastructure and “transparent, efficient price discovery” for crypto trading. Loeffler has today said that physical delivery is “a critical element” for this latter point, adding that:

“Specifically, with our solution, the buying and selling of [B]itcoin is fully collateralized or pre-funded. As such, our new daily bitcoin contract will not be traded on margin, use leverage or serve to create a paper claim on a real asset.”

The CEO underscores that these plans differentiate the platform’s strategy from existing BTC futures contracts, such as those currently offered on CME and CBOE, which are ultimately settled in fiat currency.

By refraining from allowing for margin, leverage and cash settlement –– and offering secure and regulated warehousing –– Loeffler claims that the platform will better support market integrity and enable the “trusted price formation” that she considers to be key to “advancing the promise of digital currencies.”

While Loeffler’s announcement largely confirms what had been already indicated in ICE’s initial announcement, this explicit and detailed affirmation of the project’s intentions has today been welcomed by the crypto community.

News of the forthcoming platform has drawn considerable attention and excitement over the past two weeks, yet there are nonetheless some who have voiced concerns as to the potentially adverse impact leverage-based financialization could have for the crypto space. These echo existing controversies over the impact of futures trading since their launch in late 2017, a likely impetus for Loeffler’s emphatic differentiation today.