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“A Very Important Step in Bitcoin’s History”: CME Pioneer Heralds New Asset Class

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM

CME Group chairman emeritus Leo Melamed is bullish on bitcoin, predicting the cryptocurrency will go on to become a new asset class alongside gold and traditional stocks.

Leo Melamed, widely recognized as the founder of financial futures and the former chairman (chairman emeritus) of the CME Group, sees bitcoin going beyond being a cryptocurrency to becoming a new asset class in its own right.

In an interview with Reuters , the legendary financial figure spoke about the CME Group’s plans to launch bitcoin futures contracts this year. Melamed expects the launch to open the floodgates for major institutional investors enter the bitcoin space and went on to claim that the CME Group will “tame” it toward mainstream acceptance while playing under regulatory rules.

He told Reuters of the upcoming launch of the futures contract of bitcoin:

That’s a very important step for bitcoin’s history…We will regulate, make bitcoin not wild, nor wilder. We’ll tame it into a regular type instrument of trade with rules.

Melamed further revealed he was a bitcoin-skeptic initially, but the 85-year old financial pioneer soon saw similarities between the cryptocurrency and the International Monetary Market (IMM) currency futures trading he launched as CME’s chairman in 1972, which is now one of CME’s four major divisions. He now sees the possibility of bitcoin representing a new asset class based on blockchain technology, beyond being a transactional P2P cryptocurrency.

He stated:

The world in the 1970s didn’t look at currency trading as a valid instrument of finance. I too went from not believing (in bitcoin) to wanting to know more.

Fueled by support from the world’s largest exchange owner, bitcoin prices have soared above $7,500 since the CME Group’s announcement last week.

Melamed’s outlook on bitcoin is in marked contrast to that of JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, who called bitcoin a “fraud” in September. For Melamed, bitcoin represents new technology, technology that leaves naysayers obsolete.

In statements reported by Reuters, Melamed said:

My whole life is built abound new technology. I never said no to technology. People who say no to technology are soon dead. I’m still that same guy who believes in, at least examining change. That’s what bitcoin represents.

Featured image from YouTube/Waseda University 早稲田大学 .