Digital asset trading service Crypto Facilities is launching ethereum futures contracts.
Announced Friday, the U.K. startup claims the news marks the first time futures for ether – the cryptocurrency that powers the ethereum blockchain – will be traded on a regulated platform. Investors will be able to take long or short positions, which will let them "broaden investment opportunities and manage risks more effectively," according to the firm.
In a statement discussing the new offering, Crypto Facilities chief executive Timo Schlaefer noted that ether is the second-most liquid cryptocurrency after bitcoin, with a daily trading volume in the excess of "billions of dollars."
The company will work with liquidity providers Akuna Capital and B2C2 to help back its contracts. Akuna's head of digital assets, Toby Allen, said in a statement that his firm was "looking forward to seeing this much-needed product fill a gap in the market."
The creation of an ethereum futures contract is "another giant leap in the development of the crypto asset class," he added.
B2C2 founder Max Boonen similarly called the move "a natural next step" for ethereum's token.
"The continuing evolution and commoditization we’re seeing in ethereum will further increase liquidity in the marketplace, enabling participants to exchange assets seamlessly and unlock value. We look forward to providing liquidity for this new product," he said.
Stepping back, this is not the startup's first touch with futures products. Crypto Facilities already offers bitcoin and XRP futures contracts, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
Moreover, the firm provides CME Group with the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, which the Chicago-based exchange uses to offer its bitcoin futures contracts.
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