Stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse is reportedly considering whether to make Germany the first European country to list full-fledged bitcoin futures contracts on a regulated trading platform.
According to German business outlet Wirtschaftswoche, Deutsche Boerse executives are holding discussions about whether to list bitcoin futures on Eurex, which is Europe’s largest futures and options market.
“We are thinking about futures, with which private investors and institutional investors can protect existing investments in Bitcoin or set for falling prices of the cyber currency,” a spokeswoman for the exchange told the magazine.
However, Deutsche Boerse is concerned about the potential for price manipulation, given that most spot bitcoin markets are unregulated — a common complaint among critics of cryptocurrency futures.
If Deutsche Boerse does list bitcoin futures, it will be the first regulated exchange in Europe to provide investors with direct access to these products.
Two financial houses have launched mini futures on SIX, Switzerland’s principal stock exchange — and Nasdaq Nordic has listed two exchange-traded bitcoin notes — but no European exchange operator has listed full-fledged futures contracts.
Though still a nascent asset class, institutional investors have been clamoring for the ability to gain exposure to cryptocurrency without the systemic risks of holding the assets directly, and futures meet this need.
Earlier this week, Wall Street obtained its first exposure to cryptocurrency futures after CBOE became the first regulated U.S. exchange to list these products. CME — the world’s largest derivatives exchange — will begin trading bitcoin futures on Monday, making them available to an even wider swath of traders. Several other U.S. exchange operators — most notably Nasdaq — are expected to list bitcoin futures in 2018.
Japan, a country that has emerged as an important hub for the cryptocurrency industry in Asia, is also expected to attract bitcoin futures trading in the near future. As CCN reported, the Tokyo Financial Exchange is working to list bitcoin futures products “as quickly as possible,” although it must convince the government to tweak the country’s securities laws to accommodate these products.
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