U.S. CFTC Approves Bitcoin Futures Platform Bitnomial's Derivatives Clearing Application

The commissioners discussed issues like conflict of interest before ultimately voting in favor of the margined bitcoin futures company.

AccessTimeIconDec 13, 2023 at 9:02 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 6:37 p.m. UTC
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission granted crypto derivatives company Bitnomial approval to register as a derivatives clearing organization in the U.S., letting it settle margined futures and options contracts.

CFTC commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the application by Bitnomial, a four-year-old company that wants to offer margined bitcoin futures as well as options tied to bitcoin futures to U.S. investors. Commissioner Kristin Johnson and Chairman Rostin Behnam voted to approve the proposal, while Christy Goldsmith Romero was the lone no vote. Caroline Pham and Summer Mersinger concurred – supporting the majority vote.

Bitnomial already had approval to operate as a designated contract market, which let it list the futures and options contracts, and as a futures commission merchant, which lets it trade with customers.

Commissioners debated issues like conflicts of interest during an open commission debate on Wednesday before ultimately voting in favor of the company's application.

In a statement, Bitnomial CEO Luke Hoersten said the company wants to offer "a broad spectrum of physical and digital commodities."

"Unlike other businesses that have attempted to disintermediate the brokerage industry, our FCM offers wholesale digital asset-related services and support to our brokerage partners, institutions, and dealers," he said. "Now that the licensing process is complete, we can shift our focus to expanding Bitnomial's product offering and customer base."

CORRECTION (Dec. 13, 2023, 21:41 UTC): Corrects that a concurring vote supports the majority decision, and is not an abstention.

UPDATE (Dec. 14, 2023, 21:43 UTC): Corrects vote total to reflect concurring votes.

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.

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