Thursday, 14 December, 2017

CFTC gives approval to Three Exchanges for Bitcoins Futures

A Bitcoin coin is seen in an illustration NASDAQ Plans Trading Bitcoin Futures Contracts by 2018; Impact You Need to Know
Elsie Buchanan | 02 December, 2017, 01:27

The announcement by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) paves the way for CME and CBOE to become the first traditional US regulated exchanges to launch trading in bitcoin-related financial contracts, a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency that could lead to greater regulatory scrutiny.

The announcement comes a day after a Federal Reserve governor Randal Quarles, the Fed's vice chair of banking regulation, warned that digital currencies like bitcoin could pose a threat to financial stability as they gain wider use because of the uncertainty of how they would fare during a crisis.

CME is planning to list its bitcoin futures contract on December 18. "We are operationally ready and we will be announcing a launch date shortly", the spokesperson said in the new statement.

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To guard against volatility, CME and CBOE will enact stricter-than-usual risk-management safeguards, including initial margin requirements of between 35 percent and 40 percent. "This opens up the doors to exchange traded funds and institutional money". It was last up 6.6 percent at $10,600. CME, CFE and Cantor agreed to significant enhancements to contract design and settlement, and CME to margining, at the request of Commission staff, as well as more information sharing with the underlying cash bitcoin exchanges to assist CME, CFE, Cantor and the CFTC in surveillance. While CFTC approval isn't required, the regulatory body could have halted the CME's plans if it wasn't satisfied with the self-certification. "Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts", Giancarlo adds. Instead, they only have to file a written self-certification with the regulator.

"We are pleased to bring Bitcoin futures to market after working closely with the CFTC and market participants to design a regulated offering that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery, and risk transfer capabilities", said Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

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