German exchange Deutsche Boerse mulls launch of European bitcoin futures

  • German exchange Deutsche Boerse looking at launching bitcoin futures trading.
  • The Frankfurt-based exchange made clear that it will take “some time” before any decision on launching futures contracts is made.
  • Reports come just days after Cboe launches the first bitcoin futures contracts.

LONDON – German exchange group Deutsche Boerse is considering launching its own bitcoin futures, potentially becoming the first European exchange to do so.

“We are thinking about futures, with which private investors and institutional investors can protect existing investments in Bitcoin or set for falling prices of the cryptocurrency,” the exchange group said in a statement to German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche on Wednesday.

In a separate statement, the Frankfurt-based exchange made clear that it will take “some time” before any decision on launching futures contracts is made.

Wirtschafts Woche reports that Deutsche Boerse wants “to first clarify how to deal with the sharp fluctuations” in the price of bitcoin before making a decision. The company couldn’t be immediately reached for further comment.

If Deutsche Boerse were to launch bitcoin futures, they would be traded through the exchange’s Eurex platform.

Last week, Chicago-based exchange operator Cboe began offering bitcoin future contracts, becoming the first exchange to do so. Later this month, CME, the world’s biggest exchange group, will also start offering futures contracts.

Cboe’s product is the first that gives institutional investors such as hedge funds and asset managers exposure to bitcoin. The market allows them to speculate on the future price of bitcoin without having to directly buy and hold the digital currency. This skirts any regulatory and custodian issues that might be presented by bitcoin.

Institutional investors have grown increasingly interested in bitcoin as the cryptocurrency’s price has continued to rise.

The launch of futures on the Cboe last Sunday led to a sharp increase in the price of bitcoin, with both futures and spot bitcoin trading significantly higher.

Bitcoin has seen its price rise by more than 1000% in 2017, climbing from around $US900 per coin in early 2017, to as high as $US17,000 in December, as the chart below illustrates:

Screen Shot 2017 12 14 at 09.37.04Markets Insider

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