Just yesterday, the CME Group, World’s Largest Options Exchange, announced they will begin trading in Bitcoin futures by the end of 2017, pending regulatory approval.
CME Group is the largest options and futures exchange in the world, and owner of Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, New York Mercantile Exchange, Kansas City Board of Trade and part-owner of the Dow Jones Indices.
Bitcoin continued its five-day surge, rising from $5,750 on Oct. 28 to just over $7,000 at press time on the GDAX exchange. The currency’s definitive smashing of its most recent all-time high and the $7,000 barrier seems to be tied to its increasing integration in mainstream finance.
Futures and derivatives
Following the announcement, Bloomberg reported that CME’s imprimatur makes Bitcoin “legit” in the world of mainstream finance. CME becomes the latest mainstream player to jump on the Bitcoin bus, following the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) announcement that they will trade Bitcoin options and futures, and LedgerX’s opening of their regulated Bitcoin futures market.
The trading of Bitcoin futures on regulated markets, particularly by major entities such as CBOE and CME, make it exceedingly likely that a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could be possible in the near future. When the SEC rejected the Winklevoss Twins’ attempts to register such an ETF earlier this year, the regulator pointed out that it might revisit its decision if regulated futures markets should arise.
Sky is the limit
With Bitcoin’s increasing acceptance by Wall Street financiers and traders, the sky is quite literally the limit for the digital currency. While Bitcoin’s $116 bln market capitalization is large by the cryptocurrency world’s standards, it’s minuscule in comparison to the $639 tln derivatives market. If even the tiniest fraction of those funds were to enter Bitcoin, its value would be inconceivable.