The chief executive officer of one of the world’s largest exchanges, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), recently revealed the platform isn’t going to add altcoin futures contracts in the near future, and that it’s taking a “wait and see” approach with bitcoin.
According to Bloomberg Terry Duffy, the chief executive, revealed bitcoin futures contracts “might have been the most controversial launch of a product” he’s seen in his four decades in the trading business.
During an interview, Duffy stated:
I will not just put products up there to see where they’re going to go. I will take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now.
The CME introduced bitcoin futures contracts to its platform shortly after a rival, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), listed the product. CME’s contracts are five times larger than those CBOE trades. Per Bloomberg, trading volumes for both have been “relatively modest” since their introduction.
Nevertheless, as CryptoGlobe covered, the average trading volume of CME’s bitcoin futures grew by 93% over the previous quarter, with the rate of open interest (OI), the number of open contracts, growing by 58% to exceed 2,400 this quarter.
The trading volume, however, seemingly doesn’t affect Duffy as his words seem to show he’s betting on bitcoin futures for the long-run. He said:
We’re not seeing huge flows regardless and that’s OK. This is going to take some time one way or another and we’ll do it the right way.
This year, CME has traded an average of 3,063 contracts a day, as opposed to CBOE’s 5,881. Given the contracts’ size, CME is winning as its daily average works out to 15,317 BTC per day, twice the amount CBOE trades, according to Bloomberg data.
While Duffy revealed he doesn’t want derivatives novices to trade BTC futures because they are “highly volatile and new,” the CBOE has hinted it’s looking to expand its cryptocurrency futures offering, potentially meaning altcoin futures contracts are coming.
Both CME and CBOE are among the biggest exchanges in the world. They aren’t, however, the only ones offering cryptocurrency futures contracts. As covered, UK-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto Facilities launched Ethereum futures earlier this year, while another UK-based platform, Coinfloor, launched physically settled bitcoin futures.
Notably, bitcoin’s price dropped from a near $20,000 all-time high when both CME and CBOE listed BTC futures. Some analysts, including prominent bitcoin bull Tom Lee, believe the financial product is behind the market’s “gut-wrenching” drop, as “dramatic price changes” occur when contracts expire.