Inside money, markets, and big tech

Nasdaq could launch Bitcoin futures in early 2019

It could change the face of cryptocurrency trading

nasdaq, cryptocurrency, bitcoin, blockchain, banks, futures, derivatives

Despite the cryptocurrency market‘s plummeting price of recent weeks, the Nasdaq is still plowing ahead with preparations to launch Bitcoin BTC futures.

Sources close to the matter say it could happen as soon as Q1 2019, according to Bloomberg.

The Nasdaq is currently making sure its Bitcoin futures offering satisfies regulations from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The New York exchange wants to offer the new trading option in the first quarter of 2019, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

While this might be a first for the Nasdaq, Goldman Sachs has already launched a form of futures contract, more commonly known as a “Bitcoin non-deliverable forwards contract.” Importantly though, Goldman’s is a derivative, not a true futures contract.

For the uninitiated, a derivative is a financial security, the value of which is derived from an underlying asset. Typically, derivatives are a type of futures contract between two parties to sell an asset once it reaches an agreed price. Unlike a futures contract though, derivatives are not traded on an exchange.

That’s the main difference between what Goldman Sachs is offering, and what the Nasdaq is shaping up for. Nasdaq’s Bitcoin futures will be tradeable on the stock exchange.

Ultimately, this opens them up to a whole market of investors. Goldman’s offering was for just a chosen few.

Indeed, the Nasdaq has shown interest in cryptocurrencies in the past, but this might be the signs something might actually be coming.

Published November 27, 2018 — 15:43 UTC