As recently covered by CCN, the CME Group, the $51 billion U.S.-based financial institution and the world’s largest options exchange, is set to open bitcoin futures for trading by December 18 on its platform. Recently, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) also received approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to list bitcoin futures contracts on its platform, and Nasdaq Inc. is reportedly also planning on adding bitcoin contracts next year.
According to Bloomberg, billionaire venture capitalist Mark Cuban says bitcoin futures trading on these major exchanges will potentially have a positive impact on the flagship cryptocurrency. He stated:
It will be interesting. I think it’s generally positive. What they charge is critical. Transaction costs are relatively high for BTC. If this pushes transaction costs lower, it will be a benefit to the BTC market.
Naem Aslam, a chief market analyst at TF Global Markets in London, added to Cuban’s analysis, saying that transaction costs, including cryptocurrency exchange fees and custody services charges, could decline if bitcoin demand increases as a result of futures trading on these platforms.
Per Cuban, how these exchanges “will buy, sell, hold, and manage the BTC is critical”, just like what they charge. The CME Group will, in the first few weeks of operations, be limited to initiating trades with an initial margin of 35 percent on its bitcoin futures exchange. It will use a daily price from the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, which will use prices from various cryptocurrency exchanges, namely GDAX, Kraken, ItBit, and Bitstamp.
Cuban, a majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and a star on the investing theme show “Shark Tank,” has in the past revealed that despite being a bitcoiner, he believed the market was in a bubble. He later on seemingly changed his opinion on bitcoin, as he advised “true adventurers” to invest 10% of their holdings in cryptocurrencies- Cuban himself has invested in cryptocurrency hedge fund 1Confirmation, in bitcoin, and in other cryptocurrencies.
Tim Draper, another billionaire who’s netted over $110 million from his bitcoin investments and whose Draper Associates backed Hotmail, Tesla, and Skype, was also eager to see bitcoin futures on these exchanges. In an email to Bloomberg he wrote:
“Bitcoin is a currency and should be treated as such. It makes perfect sense that a currency should be able to be hedged.”
Draper, who in the past enthusiastically represented bitcoin, finished his email applauding the exchanges, writing: “Bravo CBOE! Bravo CME!”
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