Stock Market Giant Nasdaq and VanEck Will Offer Bitcoin Futures

News and Analysis

The world’s second largest stock exchange Nasdaq has announced partnership with U.S. investment firm VanEck aiming at bringing a host of new regulated cryptocurrency financial products to market, including Bitcoin futures.

CoinDesk reported that the partnership was officially unveiled during Consensus: Invest conference. The move to “bring a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” to the market was announced by Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy.

Soon after, Gabor Gurbacs took to Twitter to say the partnership is between Nasdaq and VanEck’s MVIS Indices. Its intention is to bring to market transparent, regulated and surveilled digital assets products, such as Bitcoin futures contracts.

In his tweet, Gabor Gurbacs indicates that new products will use Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance system, a cross-market, cross-asset, multi-venue surveillance tool that correlates real-time and historical data with detection patterns to trace illegal market activities such as spoofing and wash trading.

More details are expected to be revealed soon, however, Gurbacs said that upcoming products could be thought of as an “upgrade” to current regulatory standards that surround Bitcoin futures.

Describing SMARTS as a “big policeman engine,” Gurbacs insists the technology would ensure Bitcoin futures trading “in a fair and orderly fashion.”

As of today, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has approved two Bitcoin futures products – one operated by the Chicago Board Options Exchange in partnership with Gemini Exchange and the other operated by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in partnership with Crypto Facilities.

These futures contracts are cash-settled, meaning that at expiration no “physical” bitcoins need to be moved in order to settle accounts.

A rival Bitcoin futures product by Bakkt is expected to be launched in January 2019 and will be physically-settled, meaning investors holding these contracts at expiration would receive payment in BTC.

As of press time, it has not been confirmed whether the Nasdaq/VanEck’s futures contract will be cash-backed, or physically settled.

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