The Future is Almost Here
In an interview on CNBC, chief executive Terry Duffy revealed when futures contracts should be ready and commented on the recent volatility that bitcoin has been subject to. “I think sometime in the second week of December you’ll see our contract out for listing,” he said.
On October 31, CME Group broke the news that it would be permitting futures trading on bitcoin, prompting frenzied speculation over the boost this may give to the digital currency. A week later, CME released further details, stating that bitcoin would be traded in $25 increments and would have a swing of no more than 20% above or below the previous settlement price.
Had futures contracts been in place last week, when bitcoin dropped by 30%, trading would have been forced to temporarily cease. By the time futures launch in December, it is hoped that much of the post-Segwit drama will have abated, but as anyone who’s followed bitcoin’s trajectory for long enough will know, sudden spikes and troughs are par for the course.
Christmas Comes Early
The arrival of CME bitcoin futures, signaling another step towards mainstream adoption, could prove a boon to investors across the board. Traditional stocks have benefited from the bitcoin bounce, with companies such as Nvidia seeing their share price surge off the back of cryptocurrency mining. In the first six months of the year, Nvidia shares shot up by 50% and are currently trading at around $213.
Shares in CME Group are also up today, equalling an all-time high of $140. Should CME’s bitcoin futures prove a success, Goldman Sachs could be next to get in on the act; Lloyd Blankstein has said he “wouldn’t preclude” setting up a bitcoin trading desk. If the debut of futures contracts sends the bitcoin price upward, it would cap a remarkable year for the cryptocurrency.