In September of this year, Bryan Durkin, president of CME Group, stated on Bloomberg Television, “I really feel that Bitcoin is very nascent right now. I really don’t see us going forward with a futures contract in the very near future.” Just two months later, though, the company is doing a 180.
According to an article by Business Insider, Terry Duffy, CEO and Chairman of CME, stated, “Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract. As the world’s largest regulated FX [foreign exchange] marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.” The company also mentioned that the plan for offering Bitcoin futures should be available before the end of 2017.
Even in the wake of this turnaround, the news isn’t terribly surprising for CME. In 2016, they launched a Bitcoin price index with Crypto Facilities Ltd. This same company plans to assist CME with the release of their bitcoin futures product. Currently, CME offers a varied array of futures to choose from, based on real estate, interest rates, the weather, and more. Adding a Bitcoin option will not only potentially attract new clients to CME, but will also offer current clientele a new way to diversify. With more traditional futures options like real estate, it’s exciting to see CME embrace the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency – even if the choice to embrace it only stemmed from client interest and requests.
Over the years, Bitcoin has grown from a cryptocurrency that only a few used to something that has made Wall Street sit up and take notice. This year alone, Bitcoin’s value has gone up over 500%, and it’s anyone’s guess as to where it’ll end up.