Crypto Exchange Coinfloor To Offer Physically Settled Bitcoin Futures Contracts

Francisco Memoria
  • Coinfloor is set to launch physically settled bitcoin futures contracts in April
  • Larger exchanges like the Cboe and CME offer cash settled futures contracts, so bitcoin never changes hands in these
  • Coinfloor is the fifth exchange to offer its customers bitcoin futures

UK-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinfloor is set to launch bitcoin futures contracts in April, joining a number of other companies offering these products to their customers. According to Reuters, Coinfloor will offer physically settled futures contracts.

Per the report, Coinfloor will offer its users bitcoin futures contracts through a trading platform dubbed CoinfloorEX. The contracts are aimed at “proprietary trading firms and sophisticated retail investors,” as well as cryptocurrency miners.

Since the futures contracts are physically settled, these will be delivered in the asset being traded, bitcoin in this case. Bitcoin futures contracts offered by larger exchanges like the Chicago Board of Exchange (Cboe) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are cash settled, so don’t actually deliver contract owners any bitcoin.

Coinfloor’s new product comes in response to customer demand, according to the company’s co-founder Mark Lamb. Speaking at the sidelines of the Futures Industry Association’s annual conference in Boca Raton, Florida, he stated:

“When you talk to the liquidity providers, they all say the same thing, which is they want a physically delivered futures contract so they can hedge their exposure across exchanges.”

Coinfloor co-founder Mark Lamb

Coinfloor has a daily trading volume of about $5 million, with its biggest trading pair being BTC/GBP. The British Pound (GBP) currently makes up for about 0.28 percent of bitcoin’s daily trading volume, according to data from CryptoCompare. The firm reportedly runs the largest UK-based cryptocurrency spot exchange in London, and another one in Gibraltar.

The UK-based exchange is the fifth company to offer bitcoin futures contracts as BitMex, CryptoFacilities, the CME Group and the Cboe already offer them. Recently, several US senators asked the country’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for more information on these products, claiming taxpayers should be protected from “fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices.”

According to MarketWatch, Cboe may soon add futures contracts for other cryptocurrencies, as the company's director Dennis O’Callahan revealed that, among other items, the exchange was “evaluating other cryptocurrencies.”