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Nasdaq said to eye Q1 launch of Bitcoin futures

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Major US stock exchange Nasdaq aims to launch its Bitcoin futures products in the first quarter of 2019, Bloomberg has reported.

According a Bloomberg report, published earlier today, Nasdaq has been working to satisfy the concerns of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which is the main regulator of derivatives markets in the US. The newswire cited two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, according to whom, Nasdaq was betting there would be enough sustained interest for such products despite the sharp price decline the original cryptocurrency has seen this year. One of the sources said that the company was eyeing a Q1, 2019 release.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) last December became the first major US exchange to launch Bitcoin futures. About a week later, CBOE’s Chicago-based rival, CME Group followed suit by launching its own Bitcoin futures product. Both launches were celebrated by Bitcoin supporters and contributed greatly to Bitcoin’s meteoric rise to an all-time high of around $20,000 in December. Following the latest cryptocurrency sell-off, the digital coin is now down some 81% from that level.

With Nasdaq remaining committed to its BTC futures push, the stage is set for all four major US exchanges to compete in the still nascent market. Intercontinental Exchange Inc, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) last week said that it would launch its own contracts on January 24, Bloomberg notes.

Nasdaq is exploring ways to distinguish its product from the competition. According to one of Bloomberg’s sources, the Nasdaq futures will be based off the Bitcoin’s price on numerous spot exchanges, as compiled by VanEck Associates Corp. In comparison, CME uses prices from four markets, while CBOE uses only one.

In today’s trading, the Bitcoin price stood at $3,700.78, as of 15:30 GMT. The digital coin has lost 2.4% of its value in the past 24 hours.

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