Nasdaq has continued to make inroads into the cryptocurrency space, partnering with investment management firm VanEck to release a series of digital asset products to the market.
One of those products is set to be a Bitcoin Futures contract, which will be traded on Nasdaq with VanEck compiling the spot price of Bitcoin across exchanges.
It was reported yesterday that Nasdaq were still planning on launching the futures contract, in spite of the tumbling price in 2017 that has seen Bitcoin fall from $20,000 to under $4,000.
That has now been confirmed by Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy, who spoke about “bringing a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” to the market during Tuesday’s Consensus Invest conference in New York.
@Nasdaq and VanEck’s @MVISIndices announces #index #partnership and intention to bring to market transparent, regulated and surveilled #DigitalAssets products, such as #Bitcoin futures contracts. More info to come. Share & follow us. #crypto #futures #SMARTS #ConsensusInvest pic.twitter.com/Q2oCZx4pp1
— Gabor Gurbacs (@gaborgurbacs) November 27, 2018
“What I’d like to point out is we ran a few extra miles working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to bring about new standards for custody and surveillance,” Gurbacs said during the conference.
By implementing Nasdaq’s SMARTS surveillance system the aim is to “inspire confidence with regulators and institutions trying to get involved in the crypto markets”.
The lack of regulation in crypto has been a common stumbling block for institutions trying to get into the market. Concerns over price manipulation and exchange’s potentially being insolvent have been issues regulators are trying to clamp down on.
— CoinDesk (@coindesk) November 27, 2018
Gurbacs went on to confirm that Bitcoin futures would launch in the first quarter of 2019, also stating that “we believe that 2018 was the year of regulation and 2019 will be the year of implementation.”
VanEck are also in talks with the SEC over an application for a Bitcoin ETF, with the decision expected to also come in the first quarter on 2019.
Nasdaq’s Bitcoin futures launch and the impending ETF will coincide with the Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt Futures, which has been pushed back to January 24th.