Big news today! Bloomberg reported that the U.S. stock exchange operator Nasdaq is sticking with its plans to launch Bitcoin futures contracts. Futures will enable investors to predict and put money on the future price of the currency. Nasdaq is aiming to launch the Bitcoin futures contracts at the beginning of 2019.
Today, a Bloomberg report revealed that according to “people familiar with the matter,” the Nasdaq will still start its own Bitcoin future contracts in Q1 2019. Although the crypto market is currently still very bearish, with Bitcoin trading at a yearly low, the U.S. stock exchange is sticking with plans to launch bitcoin futures contracts early next year.
The news implies that the Nasdaq, which has a market capitalization of $10 trillion, believes digital currency prices might recover – even though over $700 billion has been wiped off of the crypto asset market since the beginning of 2018.
Currently, the Nasdaq is working through regulatory issues with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Bloomberg reported. The news is surprising, not only because of the bearish state of the crypto market but also because in February this year, the CFTC strengthened its review process for cryptocurrency futures products.
The very first bitcoin futures contracts hit the markets almost a year ago, with offerings from CBOE and CME Group arriving as bitcoin prices peaked to their all-time high near $20,000 in December.
More recently, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) also announced it is launching a physically delivered bitcoin futures product through their new exchange called Bakkt. Unfortunately, the launch of Bakkt has been postponed from the 12th of December 2018 to the 24th of January 2019, this due to the “volume of interest” in the company and the “work required to get all the pieces in place,” the firm said.
It seems that with the soon to be launched bitcoin futures by ICE, the Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, is now also speeding up the process to get in the game.
Although the news is great for the crypto market, it has to be seen of the futures can help the bearish market to recover. Many analysts were expecting that the first Bitcoin futures would be the start of a large number of institutional investors entering the crypto asset markets, but this has so far failed to meet the expectations.