The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has requested that LedgerX retract the company’s claim that it had launched the first physically-settled bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts in the United States.
On July 31, LedgerX announced that it had launched the world’s first physically-settled BTC futures contracts, following LedgerX obtaining a designated contract market license (DCM) from the CFTC in June.
Ledgerx Announces Physically-Settled Bitcoin Futures
The news reportedly sniped the distinction of being first to the market, beating the Intercontinental Exchange-affiliated Bakkt, which was expected to become the first futures platform to settle contracts in BTC after its soft launch on July 22, 2019.
LedgerX’s contracts were reportedly available to both institutional and retail investors, with any U.S. resident in possession of a government-issued I.D. purportedly able to trade futures contracts for BTC using the platform.
The chief executive officer of LedgerX, Paul Chou, told CoinDesk:
Not only are they delivered physically in the sense that our customers can get bitcoin after the futures expires, but also they can deposit bitcoin to trade in the first place. Cash-settled is cash-in and cash-out, we’re bitcoin-in and bitcoin-out.
Chou emphasized that the process allows traders to access the platform without having to “use the U.S. banking system at all,” adding: “As a digital commodity, bitcoin trades 24/7/365 and our customers expect that from us, so if you trade Sunday night, the banking system did not have to be open.”
LedgerX Deletes Tweets Announcing Launch at Behest of CFTC
On August 1, CoinDesk updated its LedgerX story to report that a statement issued by the CFTC had asserted that LedgerX has “not yet been approved by the Commission” to offer physically-settled bitcoin futures.
According to an update posted by Bitcoin Magazine, “investors can sign up for early access to [LedgerX‘s] futures platform, but there’s no clear indication of when it will actually go live.” A tweet published by “derivatives specialist,” Thomas Thompson, also highlighted that the website of the CFTC “does not show any futures contracts certified by LedgerX.”
LedgerX has since deleted a tweet announcing the launch of its physically-settled BTC contracts.