A remarkable leap forward for the Ethereum community, and the overall cryptocurrency, is on the cards as Cboe, the largest options and futures exchange in the U.S., told market makers that the debut of Ether futures is getting close. The exchange is, however, waiting on additional clarity from the CFTC.
This fresh development with potentially far-reaching consequences could take place by the end of 2018, Business Insider reports citing a person with knowledge of the situation.
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 was already exploring the Ethereum cryptocurrency with a $29 billion market value in a number of different ways. It has also built related products in the background, while waiting for additional clarity.
However, the problem has been the U.S. regulatory uncertainty that was preventing the Chicago-based commodities giant from taking the final crucial step. Compared to the CFTC’s guidance in 2015 which classified bitcoin as a commodity, Ethereum has remained in a gray area with many saying the cryptocurrency is more centralized and might be deemed a security.
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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, a week after Cboe launched the first ever regulated U.S. bitcoin futures, CME Group followed suit.
But this time the matter is a bit different, and the hype is much 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 is preparing to launch Ethereum and Litecoin futures despite rival Cboe’s openness to the idea.