Bitcoin.com Looks To List BCH Futures On CFTC-Approved Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin.com is in talks to list a bitcoin cash (BCH) futures contract on a regulated exchange, according to David Shin, head of the company’s exchange division. Bitcoin.com Looks To List BCH Futures On CFTC-Approved Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)
In an interview with Bloomberg, the Singapore-based Shin said he had early talks to ensure a BCH futures contract would be available on an exchange regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He also said Bitcoin.com hoped to partner with a retail brokerage.
No CFTC-regulated exchange offers bitcoin cash futures. Bitcoin cash is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, behind bitcoin, ethereum and XRP. Shin said the push into futures would increase trading volumes and liquidity, and ultimately boost BCH’s market cap.
Bitcoin cash was trading Thursday afternoon around $300 a coin with a market cap of nearly $5.4 billion dollars, according to CoinDesk data. This is half the market cap of XRP, the next-closest coin, and 1/35th the value of market leader bitcoin.
Crypto futures are new to US investors. Available via the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) since December 2017, only one other U.S. exchange — Bakkt, which trades futures through ICE — has been approved, and that was just last month. LedgerX and TD Ameritrade-backed ErisX are awaiting final regulatory approval to expand their options trading to include futures contracts.
HTC’s Blockchain Phone Now Supports Bitcoin Cash
Native support for bitcoin cash is coming to HTC’s blockchain phone.
Today, HTC announced its partnership with Bitcoin.com to add bitcoin cash support for its Exodus 1 blockchain phone. The new function will come with Bitcoin.com’s preinstalled wallet and be rolled into the Exodus 1 software update. Bitcoin.com will also sell the Exodus 1 and all future versions.
In a statement, HTC’s chief decentralization officer Phil Chen called the update a natural next step for the phone. “The Zion Vault is happy to support BCH natively in hardware so security goes hand-in-hand in the BCH blockchain as an alternative to dominant payment rails and platforms,” he said.
With the partnership, Zion Vault, the phone’s key management software can now secure BCH transfers by signing off on transactions.
Prior to last February, HTC only accepted major cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ethereum. As of now, the phone is priced at $699.
First announced at Consenses 2018, HTC has regularly updated the Exodus 1 with new blockchain features. An update in May allowed users to directly swap cryptocurrencies within the Zion Vault wallet.
Exodus 1 may soon be replaced by HTC’s second-generation blockchain phone: the newer, cheaper Exodus 1s. Chen has previously told CoinDesk that the $200-$300 phone would ship in the third quarter.
CME Group To Launch Options On Bitcoin Futures In Q1 2020
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group is adding options to its Bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts in the first quarter of 2020, pending regulatory review.
The development was announced in a news release on Sept. 20.
“Flexibility To Hedge Bitcoin Price Risk”
Tim McCourt — CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products — said:
“Based on increasing client demand and robust growth in our Bitcoin futures markets, we believe the launch of options will provide our clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk.”
McCourt added that the new products are intended to help institutions and professional traders manage spot market Bitcoin exposure, as well as enable them to hedge Bitcoin futures positions in a regulated exchange environment.
CME Group’s announcement notes that, since the launch of Bitcoin futures on the exchange in December 2017, there have been 20 successful futures expiration settlements, with more than 3,300 individual accounts trading the product.
Year to date, a reported 7,000 CME Bitcoin futures contracts — equivalent to roughly 35,000 BTC — have traded on average each day.
For clients hedging or trading benchmark options on futures across diverse asset classes, CME Group notes that it has seen an average daily volume of 4.3 million in 2019 thus far.
Meanwhile, institutional interest in CME Bitcoin futures peaked in early summer 2019, with a record 56 large open interest holders reported in July.
Institutional Momentum Gathering Pace
This intense uptake has been gradually building all year, with Cointelegraph previously reporting that, in May, CME Bitcoin futures had hit a then all-time high.
Elsewhere in the institutional Bitcoin futures space, Bakkt Warehouse — the qualified custodian for crypto trading platform Bakkt — began accepting customer Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals earlier this month.
Bakkt intends to launch physically delivered Bitcoin futures, in contrast to the existing cash-settled Bitcoin futures offered by both CME and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
US CFTC Chairman Says Ether Is a Commodity, ETH Futures Coming Next
The chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) believes Ether (ETH) is a commodity — and that ETH futures trading is becoming a reality.
Heath Tarbert, who overtook J. Christopher Giancarlo in July, revealed his stance toward cryptocurrencies and forked coins at the All Markets Summit on Oct. 10, Yahoo Finance reports.
First CFTC Guidance On Ether
While the CFTC has been very clear that Bitcoin is a commodity, this is reportedly the first time that the authority has provided a vision for Ether, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap. Tarbert said:
“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether—until now […] It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”
“Similar digital assets should be treated similarly”
According to the report, Tarbert acknowledges the existing uncertainty about the status of altcoins. However, he claimed that similar digital assets should be treated similarly.
Tarbert suggested that forked cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) or Ethereum Classic (ETC) — those that derive from the original underlying blockchain — should be treated the same as the original asset. At the same time, the chairman noted that the status of a forked coin may alter if the “fork itself raises some securities law issues under that classic Howey Test.”
Tarbert Reportedly Claimed:
“It stands to reason that similarly assets should be treated similarly. If the underlying asset, the original digital asset, hasn’t been determined to be a security and is therefore a commodity, most likely the forked asset will be the same.”
CFTC in the news
In December 2018, the CFTC announced its intention to release a Request for Information in order to acquire public comments and guidance on the Ethereum blockchain. At the time, the authority was willing to better understand the differences and similarities between Ether and Bitcoin (BTC).
In mid-September, the CFTC appointed former Coinbase vice president Dorothy D. DeWitt as new director of market oversight.
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