Terry Duffy, president of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) said “I think sometime in the second week in December you’ll see our [bitcoin futures] contract out for listing. Today you cannot short bitcoin, so there’s only one way it can go. You either buy it or sell it to somebody else. So you create a two-sided market, I think it’s always much more efficient.”
CME intends to launch Bitcoin futures by the end of the year pending regulatory review. If successful, this will give investors a viable way to go “long” or “short” on Bitcoin. Some sellers of Exchange-Traded Funds have also filed for bitcoin ETF’s that track bitcoin futures.
These developments have the potential to allow people to invest in the crypto currency space without owning CC’s outright, or using the services of a CC exchange. Bitcoin futures could make the digital asset more useful by allowing users and intermediaries to hedge their foreign-exchange risks. That could increase the cryptocurrency’s adoption by merchants who want to accept bitcoin payments but are wary of its volatile value. Institutional investors are also
CME’s move also suggests that bitcoin has become too big to ignore, since the exchange seemed to rule out crypto futures in the recent past. Bitcoin is just about all anyone is talking about at brokerages and trading firms, which have suffered amid rising but unusually placid markets. If futures at an exchange took off, it would be nearly impossible for any other exchange, like CME, to catch up, since scale and liquidity is important in derivatives markets.
“You can’t ignore the fact that this is becoming more and more of a story that won’t go away,” said Duffy in an interview with CNBC. There are “mainstream companies” that want access to bitcoin and there’s “huge pent-up demand” from clients, he said. Duffy also thinks bringing institutional traders into the market could make bitcoin less volatile.