NASDAQ to launch futures
In a long suspected move, it is being reported that NASDAQ will be launching a Bitcoin Futures product in early 2019. This is said to have come from various sources that have spoken with Bloomberg.
With Bakkt confirming the eventual launch of multiple products, this may just be the first foray for NASDAQ. A successful launch has the ability to show investor interest in the asset, and justify further involvement within the world of crypto. While NASDAQ has not hinted at further services, it should be interesting to see where this path takes them.
Beat Bakkt to the punch?
Bakkt has already been delayed. With an original expected date in early December, Bakkt recently announced that the launch of their platform would take place tentatively on January 24th. Their reasoning for this was overwhelming interest. They indicated that due to such interest, it was smart practice to take their time and ensure a polished offering to consumers.
With NASDAQ indicating a Q1 2019 launch, it is very well possible that they will beat Bakkt in bringing their product to the public. This endeavour is not a spur of the moment decision for NASDAQ. They have been working for months to fine-tune aspects of the service with the CFTC. Meaning they are very well closing in on a finished product. Between this and another potential Bakkt delay, NASDAQ may spark a market turn-around.
How does it compare?
While competitors such as the CME and CBOE have been offering Bitcoin Futures for roughly 1 year now, the products will differ slightly. The offering from NASDAQ will utilize data compiled by VanEck for Bitcoin pricing. The Cboe, on the other hand, only utilizes one feed for Bitcoin pricing.
Aside from pricing feeds, Bakkt looks to differ from the others by settling contracts in BTC rather than FIAT. NASDAQ has not indicated whether their product would take this route.
Laying groundwork for ETF?
A favourite talking point for much of 2018 has been the applications for various ETFs. While the SEC has yet to approve of one, it is widely believed that the pending VanEck application has the best chance of this occurring.
With the SEC indicating, in the past, a need for more market maturity before an approval, it raises the question – Is the launch of various Bitcoin based products by the two largest exchanges in North America enough to allay the SEC’s fears?
Berries and Nuts
News of this potential product only adds to a list of services expected to launch early next year. Between the potential for Nasdaq Futures, Bakkt, Fidelity, and a potential ETF, current market conditions may soon be a distant memory.
It is important to remember that none of these products are an absolute given for early 2019. Between the various products being touted, there are few certainties. If these launch on schedule, the sky is the limit. However, if ‘if’s and but’s were berries and nuts, we’d all be fat little squirrels’.