Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange behind New York Stock Exchange, will be allowing Bitcoin futures trading by the middle of 2018. With a stock market worth $6.8 trillion Nasdaq is a behemoth among exchanges and reports that it will be opening up to crypto trading can only be good news for Bitcoin and its brethren.
A report on the Wall Street Journal revealed that Nasdaq and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. will list BTC futures within the first half of 2018. With a recent price surge to $11,400 and an increase of over a thousand percent this year alone, Bitcoin has grabbed everyone’s attention. Sources familiar with Nasdaq’s plans claim that the two exchanges will list Bitcoin futures among Nasdaq futures on its NFX markets opening it up to traditional traders and investors. They also claim that the Nasdaq contracts are also designed to handle Bitcoin hard forks more elegantly by reinvesting proceeds from the split blockchain back into the original one in a way designed to make the process more seamless for traders.
The offering will pit Nasdaq against two competitors, CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc., both of which already announced plans to offer cryptocurrency derivatives sending the price of Bitcoin to record highs this month. Nasdaq is a beast for stock trading but relatively small for futures, both CME and CBOE are larger in that respect.
The move also makes NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc. the only one of the four major US exchange operators without public plans to offer Bitcoin derivatives. Observers say that an announcement could be in the pipeline.
Major US-based financial firm, Cantor, also revealed that it intends to launch Bitcoin futures and derivatives on its flagship exchange. CEO Shawn Matthews said this in an interview with the WSJ:
“The asset class is not going away. If you look at the next level, it will be the institutions coming in and being larger participants in the marketplace, especially as liquidity gets better.”
The US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has already approved Cantor’s futures exchange. Other major exchanges including Nodal Exchange are also investigating the possibility of listing crypto-futures. The more the heavily regulated institutions get involved the more legitimacy can be awarded to cryptocurrencies which are largely viewed by old-school bankers and TV pundits as the wild west of trading and investing.