Bloomberg reports that the U.S. stock exchange operator Nasdaq still plans to launch bitcoin futures contracts by early 2019. Its report on Tuesday said that Nasdaq will continue to list its own bitcoin futures contracts Q1 2019, despite the poor cryptocurrency markets over the last year, according to “people familiar with the matter.”
People familiar with the matter also added that Nasdaq is currently working through regulatory issues with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The CFTC strengthened its review process back in February for cryptocurrency futures products. Its new checklist specifically pertaining to Designated Market Contracts and Derivatives Clearing Organizations is aimed to assist regulators as exchanges begin introducing new crypto products onto the market.
Bloomberg reports that the Nasdaq contracts are based on bitcoin’s spot price on “numerous” exchanges and will be compiled by New York-based investment management firm VanEck. CoinDesk also notes Nasdaq first announced that it was preparing to offer bitcoin futures products in November of last year.
The first ever bitcoin futures contracts appeared on markets nearly a year ago, while offerings from CBOE and CME Group arriving as bitcoin prices reached all-time highs near $20,000 in December.
Even more recently, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced plans to launch a physically delivered bitcoin futures product through a new exchange called Bakkt. That specific launch was delayed from a December 2018 launch date to January 2019 due to the “volume of interest” in the company and the “work required to get all the pieces in place,” the firm said.