Nasdaq — the world’s second-largest stock exchange — plans to roll out bitcoin futures in the first quarter of 2019 through a partnership with investment management firm VanEck. Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy, said the companies will launch a variety of bitcoin derivatives in early-2019, including a “regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract.”
Gurbacs made the announcement during the Consensus: Invest conference in New York on November 27, CNBC reported. In a follow-up tweet, Gurbacs said Nasdaq and VanEck will unveil “transparent, regulated and surveilled digital asset products, such as bitcoin futures contracts.”
Nasdaq has been working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to make sure it fully complies with any lingering regulatory concerns the country’s main swaps regulator has. Gurbacs confirmed that VanEck also “ran a few extra miles working with the CFTC to bring about new standards for custody and surveillance.”
Meanwhile, Nasdaq’s rival ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) — the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange — is also charging ahead with its own plans to launch a physically-settled bitcoin futures product in the first quarter of 2019. Separately, VanEck is still trying to win approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the first-ever bitcoin ETF. In August 2018, the SEC rejected nine bitcoin ETF applications, dashing the hopes of crypto evangelists like the Winklevoss twins, who have repeatedly failed to win SEC approval.