The first exchange to go live with bitcoin futures has stopped listing new contracts as Wall Street interest in crypto wanes


cboe trader screaming

  • Cboe Global Markets announced late Thursday that it will stop listing new contracts of bitcoin futures.
  • The Chicago-based exchange group, which was the first to launch a derivative for the cryptocurrency, said it is “assessing its approach” to how it handles cryptocurrency derivatives in a notice.

Cboe Global Markets, the first exchange group to launch bitcoin futures when it went live in December 2017, announced it was putting a hold on listing new bitcoin contracts.

In a notice published late Thursday, the Chicago-based exchange group said it would not be adding more bitcoin futures contracts on its Cboe Futures Exchange to give it a chance to reevaluate how it handles cryptocurrency derivatives. 

“CFE is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading,” the exchange said in the notice.  

Contracts that are currently listed on the exchange will remain available for trading until their expiration dates in April, May or June. 

A Cboe spokesperson declined to comment beyond the notice. 

Cboe’s launch of bitcoin futures, which was followed shortly thereafter by rival CME, was lauded by some in the industry as a way for Wall Street firms to wade into the cryptocurrency space. The contracts went live at the peak of the cryptocurrency bubble when the currency was valued just shy of $20,000. On Friday afternoon, bitcoin was valued at roughly $3,900. 

However, Cboe’s contract failed to pick up significant market share. Open interest in the contracts in early 2019 had actually decreased from the previous year.

Attracting Wall Street money into the crypto markets has been a tough nut to crack. Cboe CEO Ed Tilly pointed to the lack of an exchange-traded note, such as a bitcoin ETF, as a major hindrance to the growth of the futures market. 

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