The CEO of Nasdaq has revealed that it is looking into how it can offer digital currency futures that are different to Cboe and CME offerings.
Speaking to CNBC, Adena Friedman, the chief of the stock exchange, said that Nasdaq was ‘investigating the idea of a cryptocurrency futures.’
“We continue to look at the risk management around that, making sure we are putting the right protocols in place, making sure there’s proper demand, and that the contract is different from what’s already out there,” she said.
Even though an exact timeline has yet to be given early reports suggest that the stock exchange is planning to launch their bitcoin futures as early as the second quarter of 2018. Toward the end of 2017 regulated exchanges, Cboe and CME launched their own bitcoin futures contracts, which helped to push the value of the digital currency up. However, unlike Cboe, which bases its price off of one bitcoin source and CME, which uses four, previous reports indicate that Nasdaq will employ 50.
According to Friedman, though, the Nasdaq futures will be ‘more of an investment than a tracking stock,’ adding:
“What we might look at is more of a total return futures, so it’s a little bit of a different construct.”
However, before approaching the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Nasdaq will first need to determine whether there is a client demand for it and if they feel confident enough to go ahead.
In recent weeks the digital currency market has seen prices plummet, the most obvious of them all being bitcoin. Last month, the cryptocurrency was within touching distance of $20,000 for the first time. However, at the time of publishing it is trading at $11,247, according to CoinMarketCap. A major selloff and increased global regulatory pressure has seen market prices affected.
Despite this, though, many industry players still have faith in where the value of bitcoin is going.
According to Dave Chapman, managing director of cryptocurrency trading firm Octagon Strategy, he has predicted that the price of the digital currency will exceed $100,000 by the end of 2018. Chapman previously projected that bitcoin would past the $10,000 mark before the end of 2017.
Back in December he said:
“I think a lot of people thought I was crazy, a lot of people scoffed at me, but that’s OK.”