CME Group is the second regulated US derivatives market to list bitcoin futures. It is also the largest trading venue for these products by far. And, according to a statement made Thursday by CEO Terry Duffy, CME Group will not be listing any new cryptocurrency futures anytime soon.
Speaking with Bloomberg Television, Duffy said that his firm’s reputation is “too important” to rush into listing new cryptocurrency futures products. He said that the exchange has not had enough time to evaluate its bitcoin futures product, which began trading in December.
Duffy stated, “Before we get into any other cryptocurrencies, we’re going to see how this one goes, and I think that six to eight months as a listing of bitcoin is not a good enough barometer to decide what your future should be for any other cryptocurrency,” he said. “I will not just put products up there to see where they’re going to go. I will take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now.”
Bitcoin futures trading volume on CME as well as Chicago-based exchange CBOE started out small. However, volume has steadily increased over the life of these products. On Tuesday of last week, Wall Street traded approximately $572 million worth of BTC futures. This surge in volume correlated with bitcoin’s push past $8,000.
Nevertheless, BTC represents only a fraction of CME Group’s overall derivatives business. In and of itself, BTC currently does not warrant the expansion of this product line.
“We’re not seeing huge flows regardless and that’s OK,” Duffy said. He added that bitcoin was the “most controversial launch” of a product that he has ever seen in his four decades in derivatives trading. “This is going to take some time one way or another and we’ll do it the right way.”
Earlier this year, CME Group partnered with several cryptocurrency exchanges to launch a real-time price index for ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.
This move raised speculation that the exchange was laying the groundwork to feature an ethereum futures product. The speculation was further spurred by confirmation from CME Group that the exchange was assessing client interest in such a product.