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CME Chief Exec cool on adding more cryptocurrency contracts

futures contracts

Terry Duffy, the CEO of the CME Group, has restated his position that his exchanges are in no rush to add more cryptocurrency futures contracts.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television he said that he would “take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now” and would not “just put products up there to see where they’re going to go.

The CME added Bitcoin futures in December in what Duffy described as possibly “the most controversial launch of a product” in the exchange’s history. This event greatly contributed to the crypto-mania of late 2017, with many people thinking that this was the moment when Bitcoin finally entered the mainstream and attracted financial institutions seeking crypto-exposure.

Things have not turned out that way, and trading volumes have been modest. An average of just over 3,000 Bitcoin contracts change hands each day on the CME, a miniscule proportion of the exchange’s average total daily volume of over 18 million contracts.

However, Duffy has pledged that the CME will stick with the contract, for now at least. “We’re not seeing huge flows regardless and that’s OK,” he said, “this is going to take some time one way or another and we’ll do it the right way.

This cautious approach should come as little surprise to CME-watchers. In February Duffy told Bloomberg that he was not going to “get over my skis on something that could be potentially damaging to the reputation of the company.” He stated that he would have to “learn more” and that to go ahead and list more cryptocurrency contracts would be “a little irresponsible right now.”

By contrast, the Cboe, the other American exchange offering Bitcoin futures, is much more bullish on new contracts in the crypto space. CEO president Chris Concannon said in January that if “you look at the entire crypto space” there are other products with “the liquidity and the notional size” so more derivative contracts would “make sense.”

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