Bitcoin Futures Trading Commences; Implications for Funds and Registered CPOs and CTAs

December 18, 2017

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) on December 1, 2017 self-certified contracts for bitcoin futures products with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Additionally, on this date the Cantor Exchange self-certified bitcoin binary options. Subsequently, on December 12, 2017, the CFTC published a dedicated virtual currency resource Web page that the CFTC states will act as a central bank for “Commission-produced resources about virtual currency”. These events, together with other recent developments (such as PricewaterhouseCoopers’ November 30 announcement that it has accepted payment in bitcoin for its services), have further demonstrated the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrency into the financial mainstream. This Dechert OnPoint focuses on the two recently self-certified futures contracts, as a market in bitcoin futures did not previously exist.

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