The cryptocurrency will hit the New York-based exchange’s boards in the early part of next year, subject to the nod of approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The move will mark a step change in how the decade-old crypto accelerates acceptance and mass adoption throughout the world. Joseph Christinat, Vice President of Nasdaq’s media team, said: “Bitcoin Futures will be listed and it should launch in the first half of next year – we’re just waiting for the go ahead from the CFTC but there’s been enough work put into this to make that academic. “We’ve seen plenty of speculation and rumours about what we might be doing, but no one has thought to come to us and ask if we can confirm it, so, here you go – we’re doing this, and it’s happening.”
Despite the current crypto climate – a bearish riptide stripping values from anything in its path – the confirmation will supercharge a growing confidence in traditional banking institutions that cryptocurrency has a serious role to play in the future of global finance.
Investors the world over have rejoiced at the suggestion of a bitcoin listing, but with little in the way of definite confirmation from Nasdaq that the stock exchange would be pressing ahead with the move. Until now.
Nasdaq has, it would seem, been working on delivering Bitcoin Futures for most of 2018, with Christinat stressing the organisation has had eyes on cryptocurrency for years.
He added: “We got into the blockchain game five years ago, and when the technology first popped up we just leant out of the window and shouted ‘hey come over here’ right at it.
“We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time – way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”
Market analysts like David Cheetham of UK-based broker XTB believe the move would be a game changer in terms of acceptance.
He said: “It sounds like Nasdaq have obviously been working on it for quite some time which means this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction or jumping on the bandwagon – this is a serious plan.
“At the end of the day exchanges make money through trading in volume and, although that volume hasn’t been seen yet due to a serious drop off, this would be a form of legitimising the market.
“Broadly speaking, there is always a risk when dealing with unregulated spaces so they would much rather look to use futures and that may even create serious solidity in the market.”
Chris Beauchamp, Chief Market Analyst at the IG Group, agreed it would deliver more stability to a cryptocurrency which has been anything but stable throughout its lifespan.
He said: “Anything that broadens out the liquidity of bitcoin and encourages usability is welcomed by brokers and traders alike.
“It will also bring more visibility and transparency to a market which has no regulation and, again, that will be broadly welcomed.”