Nasdaq plans to launch Bitcoin futures

  • The second largest stock exchange in the world, the Nasdaq, is (again) considering introducing Bitcoin futures.
  • In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Adena Friedman explained that the company is currently working on the setup with an anonymous business partner.

Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, the world’s second largest exchange, said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the company is considering introducing Bitcoin (BTC) futures with an unnamed business partner. She said that Bitcoin futures are a viable option and that Nasdaq is working on the facility with a currently anonymous business partner.

While Friedman did not disclose the name of the partner, she also made clear that Nasdaq is first examining the viability of introducing Bitcoin Futures. She also emphasized that Nasdaq is looking for a sustainable solution that is different from its competitors.

Already at the end of 2017 there were rumors that Nasdaq was working with Cantor Fitzgerald to launch BTC Futures until the second half of 2018. However, the Nasdaq BTC futures did not happen, presumably due to the crypto winter that started in January 2018. At the same time, many other companies also entered the market with similar solutions, including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) with the first cash-based Bitcoin futures in December 2017.

In the interview with Bloomberg, Friedman explained:

We have been working with the industry and with a great partner to look at whether or not it’s the right thing for us to do. And I think that we’re still evaluating that.

We’ve been talking with the industry to say is this something [unique.] We already have two Bitcoin futures out there…

If you’re going to create a product, you want to know that people are going to use it, and use it differently than how it’s being used today. The second thing is, we’d have to self-certify as a futures exchange for this. And we would use our NFX license to do that, but we have to make sure, from a risk-management perspective, we are fully prepared. And those are the two things we’re still working on.

Friedman: Bitcoin and crypto will play an important role

With the “two Bitcoin futures”, Friedman refers to Nasdaq Nordic, where a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Note (ETN), Bitcoin Tracker EUR and an Ethereum ETN have been trading for quite some time. Regarding the crypto market as a whole, Friedman noted that on Nasdaq they are convinced that cryptocurrencies “will play a role in the global economy”:

I would say that our view is that digital currencies and cryptocurrencies will have a role in the global economy. The question is will they mature to a state that really is used for the transfer of goods.

But in the meantime, I think that there’s certainly a lot of demand out there for that indicative price and that ability to trade it. It’s just a matter of can we create a construct that’s unique enough and different from what’s already there.

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About Author

Jake Simmons has been a crypto enthusiast since 2016, and since hearing about Bitcoin and blockchain technology, he's been involved with the subject every day. Beyond cryptocurrencies, Jake studied computer science and worked for 2 years for a startup in the blockchain sector. At CNF he is responsible for technical issues. His goal is to make the world aware of cryptocurrencies in a simple and understandable way.

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