It has only been a few weeks since CME Group announced that it would be putting forward bitcoin futures as a near-term tradable asset for its clients. At the time, when the announcement hit press, markets regarded it as relatively positive given that it should theoretically improve the liquidity in the underlying asset based on the fact that an increased degree of participation should be promoted by futures hitting the wire.
When the announcement came out, however, all we knew was that CME intended to launch the product at some point during the fourth quarter of 2017. When it comes to new tradable assets like this, even large and reputable entities like CME often miss launch targets so expectations were that we were probably looking at early 2018 as realistically being the time at which we would see these futures available for commercial swap.
As it turns out, our pessimism was unfounded.
The group has just announced that it expects to launch bitcoin futures on December 10. The announcement came as part of a regular update that the company calls its future market specs.
Here’s what the announcement said:
“Effective Sunday 10 December 2017 for trade date Monday 11 December 2017, and pending all relevant regulatory review periods, please be advised that CME will launch Bitcoin Futures”
And here’s what the company’s CEO, Terry Duffy, had to say about the development:
“Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract — As the world’s largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”
Just as with any tradable asset, these futures are going to be highly speculative but the fact that major entities like CME are willing to offer futures as a standard delivery asset means that, from a mainstream adoption perspective, things are looking up in the bitcoin world.
It’s a strong bet that more and more of these speculative assets will be made available across the coming 12 months especially if bitcoin continues to rise in price throughout the period.
Let’s see how things play out.