CME Group’s CEO Terry Duffy on Thursday said the world’s largest futures exchange operator doesn’t plan to offer new cryptocurrency-related contracts, other than Bitcoin, any time soon. The comments are in contrast to previous rumors that CME is preparing to launch Ethereum and Litecoin futures despite rival Cboe’s openness to the idea.
“In my nearly four decades in trading, Bitcoin futures might have been the most controversial launch of a product. I will not just put products up there to see where they’re going to go. I will take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now,” Duffy said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday.
According to CME CEO, cryptocurrency markets are polarizing and unpredictable enough that his company is going slowly. Duffy said before he doesn’t own bitcoin personally, but he believes the cryptocurrency may well change the future of finance.
“We’re not seeing huge flows regardless and that’s OK. This is going to take some time one way or another and we’ll do it the right way,” Duffy added.
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Recent surge fueled by institutional interest
According to recent data provided by CME Group, however, the volatility and total volume of bitcoin futures in Q2 2018 have been in a gradual rebound. CME Bitcoin futures have experienced a 93% increase in average daily volume, while open interests also climbed by 58% over Q1 2018.
With extra regulatory safeguards, CME Group introduced Bitcoin futures in December 2017, marking a major step in the path to legitimate the cryptocurrency and helping to propel it to record highs. The venture came after the launch of Bitcoin futures pioneered by the Cboe Global Markets Inc.
The recent surge in the derivatives volumes came amid signs that institutional investors are increasingly looking at entering the cryptocurrency market. Of note, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Japanese financial holdings company Nomura and most recently SIX Group, the owner of SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX), have recently launched dedicated offerings of cryptocurrency custodianship to institutional investors.
The ventures were established to overcome barriers that have blocked institutional investment in digital assets and minimize the risk of loss due to theft or operational errors.