Taking a cue from its U.S. rivals, the Tokyo Financial Exchange is now preparing to launch its own bitcoin derivatives futures product.
The Tokyo Financial Exchange, one of Japan’s leading financial exchanges that counts the likes of JPMorgan Chase among its trading participants, is set to join the mad rush among traditional financial institutions to support bitcoin as a financial product.
The institution will first create a working group to study and research cryptocurrencies before listing bitcoin futures trading contracts, according to chief executive Shoza Ohta. The listing, which would become Japan’s first bitcoin-based financial product, requires changes to the country’s securities laws and the first step to that end would be the start of the working group leading toward drafting legislation, according to Ohta. With regulatory approval, the exchange will press ahead to list bitcoin futures contracts “as quickly as possible”, the chief executive added.
In quotes reported by Bloomberg, Ohta told reporters in Tokyo on Friday:
Once the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act recognizes cryptocurrencies as financial products, we will list the futures as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we will launch this working group to study various aspects, including bitcoin’s present status, its outlook, and what form it will take root in Japan’s society.
Japan is among the world’s largest bitcoin trading markets boosted by friendly regulation that recognized the cryptocurrency as a legal method of payment from April this year. An early mover in the space, Japan’s laws coupled with regulatory embrace (the financial regulator issued 11 licenses for bitcoin exchanges to operate recently) has also led to unique tie-ins like Japan’s three ‘megabanks’ figuring as investors in bitFlyer, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange.
The Tokyo Financial Exchange’s foray into planning its bitcoin product offering comes on the heels of Chicago-based Cboe confirming the launch of its bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday, December 10. Cboe’s launch precedes that of Chicago-based rival CME, the world’s largest derivates exchange, integrate bitcoin futures into its exchange on December 17.
Such is the hysteria for bitcoin within Wall Street that Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock market, is also drawing plans to enable bitcoin futures trading by mid-2018.
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