A remarkable leap forward for the Ethereum community, and the entire cryptocurrency world, is on the cards – Cboe, the largest options and futures exchange in the US, told market makers that the debut of Ethereum futures is drawing near. The exchange is, however, waiting on additional clarity from the CFTC.
This development, with its potentially far-reaching consequences, could take place by the end of 2018, according to Business Insider which cites a person with knowledge of the matter.
To help jump-start that process, Cboe is reportedly basing the upcoming ether futures on the underlying market of the cryptocurrency platform Gemini, founded and run by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Cboe has been exploring the cryptocurrency, which has a market value of $29 billion, in a number of different ways – it has also already built related products while waiting for the required approvals.
However, US regulatory uncertainty has prevented the Chicago-based commodities giant from taking the final, crucial step. The CFTC classified Bitcoin as a commodity in 2015, but Ethereum remains in a gray area, with many considering the cryptocurrency centralized enough to be deemed a security.
Cboe president Chris Concannon said earlier “it could not stop at bitcoin,” and that the exchange could add other cryptocurrency futures as well, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.
Both Cboe and CME Group have been trading Bitcoin futures since last year, with extra regulatory safeguards. Cboe was the first to offer the contracts, and CME Group followed suit a week later.
But this time the hype is less. CME Group’s CEO Terry Duffy said last month that the world’s largest futures exchange operator doesn’t plan to offer new cryptocurrency-related contracts (other than Bitcoin) any time soon.
The comments were in contrast to previous rumors that CME Group was preparing to launch Ethereum and Litecoin futures despite rival Cboe’s openness to the idea.