The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), one of the world’s leading derivatives and futures exchanges, doesn’t plan on offering publicly traded futures for altcoins anytime soon.
“Bitcoin Futures Might Have Been The Most Controversial Launch Of A Product”
Speaking with Bloomberg on July 26th, Terry Duffy, the CEO of the CME Group, discussed his insight on the topic of cryptocurrency futures. In a short interview, Duffy highlighted the “controversial” launch of Bitcoin futures on the CME platform and the firm’s future plans for other cryptocurrency-related products.
For those who are unaware, futures are financial contracts which facilitate the purchase and sale of an asset at a predetermined price and date.
Firstly, the CEO implied that he was a skeptic of his firm’s Bitcoin futures launch in December, stating:
We came out listing Bitcoin. It probably, in my thirty-eight years in this industry, might have been the most controversial launch of a product I’ve seen in my entire life.
Despite noting that the launch of Bitcoin futures “got the most amount of recognition,” Duffy reiterated that his firm isn’t in a rush to release other cryptocurrency-backed contracts. He noted:
Before we get into any other cryptocurrency in the future, we are going to see how this one goes. I think 6-8 months since the listing of Bitcoin is not a good enough of a parameter to decide what your future should be for any other cryptocurrency.
This sentiment regarding altcoin futures caught some by surprise, as the CME’s primary competitor has hinted that it wants to open derivatives trading for cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.
However, Duffy later affirmed that he would “not risk the credibility of this institution (CME)” just to launch a flashy or eye-catching product, like a contract for a crypto asset like Ethereum or Litecoin. He elaborated on that thought, stating the following:
I will not just put products up there to see where they’re going to go. I will take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now.
For some in the cryptocurrency community, futures for the foremost digital asset have been seen as a negative or bearish sign. Theories are continually circulating about third-party entities suppressing the price of Bitcoin utilizing futures, as Bitcoin’s decline following the all-time high eerily correlated with the December 19th futures launch. For these conspirative individuals, it is actually welcome to see the CEO of the CME delay or hold back a product that would potentially push prices lower.
Despite posting a 93% quarter-over-quarter increase in terms of the CME’s Bitcoin futures volume, Duffy still noted that the firm still isn’t “seeing huge (volume) flows.” However, he later implied that he could see Bitcoin futures gain adoption in the long-run, stating that “this is going to take some time one way or another and we’ll do it the right way.”