Sources state that the contract could be approved by January 30, though that’s not certain.
Intercontinental Exchange, parent of the New York Stock Exchange, could soon be launching the first futures contract to be paid in cryptocurrency.
According to a report published by Wall Street Journal (via Bitcoinist) on Thursday, the BTC contract will be produced by the Intercontinental Exchange-backed Bakkt, which is currently working with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission to ensure the contract complies with official standards.
The plan had previously been postponed to 2019, with the last date set being January 24. Yet, still, the approval process has been slow-moving, meaning the contract will likely be delayed again while the company goes through its security procedures and protection against cybercrime.
An internal source told Coindesk that the delay might not be huge, however, stating that it would still be “plausible” to release the contract on 30 January.
For the contract to be approved, the CFTC needs to issue an exemption that will enable Bakkt to custody bitcoin for its customers in its own “warehouse,” sources familiar with discussions around the plan told Coindesk.
While there’s always a possibility the contract will not be approved by the CFTC, reports on the outcome are generally optimistic. The exemption request was passed over to the Commission on Friday, where it will stay while board members vote as to whether or not to open it up for public discussion. If that happens, public comments would be collected after 30 days and reviewed by Commission staff before deciding whether or not to grant the exemption.
Nasdaq is also looking to begin offering Bitcoin futures next year. The exchange partnered with VanEck in November, with a view to launching a “regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” to its clients in 2019, reported CNBC.