Cboe Exchange Puts Brakes on Bitcoin Futures Listing

Cboe said it would not add a new bitcoin futures market for March, citing a need to review how it approaches the space.

Mar 14, 2019 at 10:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:59 a.m. UTC

Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) is putting its bitcoin futures market on hold.

The unit of Cboe Global Markets said Thursday that it would not add a new bitcoin futures market for March, citing a need to review how it approaches the space.

"CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019," the futures exchange said in a notice to traders Thursday afternoon, adding:

"CFE is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading. While it considers its next steps, CFE does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading."

However, Cboe said currently listed bitcoin futures contracts will remain available for trading. That means the last contracts listed, XBTM19, will expire in June.

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Cboe, along with rival Chicago futures exchange CME Group, made a big splash in late 2017 when each introduced bitcoin futures contracts. But by many accounts, Cboe's volume has been disappointing.

— John Todaro (@JohnTodaro1) March 14, 2019

The Chicago exchanges' futures are cash-settled, meaning at the end of the contract one party pays the other the difference between the spot and futures prices of bitcoin in U.S. dollars.

By contrast, up-and-coming competitors Bakkt and ErisX plan to offer physically settled futures contracts, in which real bitcoin is delivered to the buyer.

Cboe image via Shutterstock.

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