Chairman and CEO of CME Group Ted Duffy has today made the most specific mention of when the CFTC-regulated and broker-ready Bitcoin Futures will be available: Second week of December.
Currently, the space is dominated by BitMEX, OKex, Deribit, and Crypto Facilities, unregulated futures with social loss algorithms to control risk. Since they are not regulated futures that are centrally cleared and guaranteed under strict rules, they represent more parimutuel betting products. While they are professionally run by fantastic teams, they still serve an unregulated market that uses only bitcoin as collateral and has inverse payouts in fiat pairs (US dollar).
The CME product will be cash-settled, just like the unregulated products. They will not trade over the weekend, whereas the unregulated products trade 24/7 with very low fees. The CBOE has also announced its intention to list Bitcoin Futures. Van Eck is also making efforts.
These groups of exchanges will co-exist with one another. Just because CME trades a product that traders on Interactive Brokers and ETRADE can access, doesn't mean that there is not a role for the OG crypto derivatives exchanges to play.
One strong point of the unregulated exchanges is that they use crypto for collateral. The CME product uses only fiat that brokers offer. There is a totally different market segment being targeted. Only a small share of the existing traders on crypto-collateral derivatives exchanges would be dragged away to the legacy exchanges. The ability to pull out your profits intra-day in cryptocurrency has serious value that CME simply does not offer.
So have no fear, the existing exchanges will coexist just fine with the growing group of regulated products, and the crypto ecosystem as a whole will grow. A growing pie feeds everyone just fine! Here is Duffy on CNBC below in VIDEO:
OKCoin has just announced that they will be shutting down Futures trading for OKCoin.com International.
Concerns from PBoC intervention earlier this year have made Chinese bitcoin exchanges be very careful when it involves handling USD or USD-related blockchain assets.
BitVC has been shut down, which was Huobi's futures exchange, but OKCoin.com futures are still the #1 highest volume Bitcoin derivatives exchange.
It continuously has market share of about 2/3:
However, BitMEX has been right behind them so OKCoin would be crazy to shut down such a successful operation.
This move hopefully will lead to sufficient segregation from any fiat operations and finally keep regulators off their backs.
Bitfinex and BTC-e have reported wire issues in this Easter period now. Bitfinex has no ETA on resolving their issues. BTC-e says it will be about a month:
This is a bad trend currently in crypto. Acquiring banking services for a bitcoin or cryptocurrency related is a massive pain. US regulators have not clarified their view on bitcoin and, as such, banks are cautious in getting involved with any companies that are doing anything with bitcoin.
In fact, since the SEC rejected the Winkelvoss COIN ETF and the SolidX ETF, it seems less likely that banks will warm up to bitcoin. There are all kinds of reasons that banks would be hostile to bitcoin. After all, bitcoin is, down the line, an existential threat to banking, whether or not they understand it yet.
There has been talk of BTC/USD becoming less of a center of liquidity for bitcoin traders. Perhaps if the US banking system becomes too restrictive, and there are no functioning spot markets that can perform USD transactions internationally, then traders will flock to a more accomodative currency, such as the Swiss Franc (CHF) or Japanese Yen (JPY).
Traders are accustomed to using different currencies. When China came on the scene in 2013, most traders had to start getting used to CNY denominated bitcoin markets, as the biggest high-volume exchanges were located in China. Now that they're having their own regulatory issues, with Bitcoin withdrawals being frozen, the West is now dominant again in the market.
There's still Bitstamp, Gemini, GDAX, itBit where USD flows seem to be without issue. However, other exchanges, like Xapo, are reportedly having trouble with USD flows a well. So this could be the beginning of a domino effect that may harm the other major spot exchanges once large USD flows begin to appear. Currently, they are not big enough to attract that much attention, but once they are doing $100 millions, they will then get a bit more scrutiny. With Bitfinex's flows going over to the other exchanges, people will be putting this to the test with large amounts.