Earlier this week, rumors emerged that Nasdaq, a securities exchange considered only second to the New York Stock Exchange [NYSE] will launch futures contracts for Bitcoin [BTC]. This has now been confirmed by the Vice President of Nasdaq’s media team, who has stated that the contracts will be listed and launched in the first half of next year.
This puts it in the same timeframe as the launch of ICE’s Bakkt futures contract for Bitcoin. This contract was previously claimed to be the saving grace of Bitcoin, as it was slated for launch in early December. However, it has now been postponed for a launch in the tail end of January.
In a statement to Express, Joseph Christinat stated:
“Bitcoin Futures will be listed and it should launch in the first half of next year – we’re just waiting for the go ahead from the CFTC but there’s been enough work put into this to make that academic.”
He further remarked upon the speculation and rumors that have ensued owing to an unconfirmed report by the Wall Street Journal, which sparked the media hype over the contracts. Addressing these rumors, Christinat said:
“We’ve seen plenty of speculation and rumours about what we might be doing, but no one has thought to come to us and ask if we can confirm it, so, here you go – we’re doing this, and it’s happening.”
Reportedly, the firm has been working on delivering these contracts for most of this year, with cryptocurrencies being in their vision for “years”. However, the markets are currently in one of their worst slumps this year, as seen by the price of Bitcoin dropping below its crucial $6000 support level to trade at around $4000. The exchange doesn’t seem to be deterred by this, as the VP stated:
“We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time – way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”
The contract is set to trade on the Nasdaq Futures platform known as NFX, as revealed by reporters at the Wall Street Journal. The platform was focused on energy trading until this point. The launch of Bitcoin futures will undoubtedly push the adoption of the cryptocurrency as an asset class and enable it to gain exposure among accredited institutional investors.
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LocalBitcoins see steady trading volume in Russian Ruble following cash-trades exodus
LocalBitcoins, the Finland-based peer to peer cryptocurrency exchange, announced earlier this month that trading in a country’s national fiat currency will be disallowed, leading many in the community to believe that countries not on the frontlines of the digital asset world would be hit the hardest. Three weeks on, some defiant trends have been noticed.
According to CoinDance, the weekly LocalBitcoins chart revealed that the Russian Ruble [RUB] recorded towering volumes, even after the June 1 cash-exodus announcement. With many expecting a drop in volume, other top countries have also seen the absence of an immediate plummet, with Moscow being the stand-out.
The first week of June saw a notable high of RUB 1,174 million in volume owing to the native currency, while the aftershock of the announcement dropped the same down by to RUB 1,104 million by the second week. The next two weeks saw the volume surge back to its May 2019 heights, with the week beginning on June 22 recording a volume of RUB 1,188 million in volume.
On the basis of the above data, Russia is indeed a positive LocalBitcoins market.
The Finnish exchange has also been popular in South America, with its weekly volumes doing exceedingly well in the markets of Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, with Brazil, the only Latin American country left-out.
Buenos Aries saw its weekly volume from the initial weeks of June to mid-June drop from $13.71 million to $10.53 million, following the cash-removal announcement. In terms of the Colombian Peso, CoinDance stated that the number for the same was $9.98 billion towards the close of May 2018, and dropped to $7.16 billion by the first week of June. However, the same has since stabilized to stand at $9.2 billion.
LocalBitcoins began mulling the possibility of phasing out fiat currency trades following its inclusion under the supervision of Finland’s financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Authority [FSA] in March 2019. This inclusion was made days after Finnish legislators stated that cryptocurrency-based assets would be given legal status under the law. However, the act will officially come into force later in November 2019.
Additionally, several changes were made to the country’s Anti Money Laundering [AML] laws and Countering Financial Terrorism Act [CTF], which would require the exchange to follow the stated guidelines.
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