Bitcoin is likely to transcend its current status as a crytocurrency and become a tradeable asset class in its own right, such as gold or stocks, Leo Melamed, Chairman Emeritus of CME Group (CME.O), told Reuters in an interview.

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CME (formerly the Chicago Mercantile Exchange), the world’s largest options and futures exchange, announced last week that it would launch a bitcoin futures contract by the end of the year.

In an interview with Reuters, CME’s Leo Melamed – a finance executive and pioneer of financial futures, discussed bitcoin’s path toward acceptance and said he expects major investors to take part in bitcoin futures.

“That’s a very important step for bitcoin’s history. We will regulate, make bitcoin not wild, nor wilder. We’ll tame it into a regular type instrument of trade with rules,” Melamed told Reuters.

Bitcoin skyrocketed to a fresh all-time high of $7,601.39 on November 6 and has gained more than $1,000 since November 1, following CME’s announcement.

Melamed admitted he was skeptical about bitcoin at first and said he expects the cryptocurrency to attract major institutional investors, not just speculators.

“The world in the 1970s didn’t look at currency trading as a valid instrument of finance. I too went from not believing in bitcoin to wanting to know more.”

Melamed became chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1969. Under his leadership, CME launched currency futures and created the world’s first financial futures exchange, the International Monetary Market (IMM), in 1972. Financial futures were hailed as “the most significant innovation of the past two decades” by Nobel Memorial Prize laureate in Economics, Merton Miller.

“My whole life is built abound new technology. I never said no to technology. People who say no to technology are soon dead. I’m still that same guy who believes in, at least examining change. That’s what bitcoin represents,” Chairman Emeritus of CME Group Leo Melamed also said.

CME’s Melamed bitcoin views are not yet entirely echoed in the financial spheres, with many financial professionals expressing beliefs that BTC is a “fraud”, a “fad”, or a “bubble”.

CME’s Melamed bitcoin standpoint – Image source: Yuya Shino/Reuters

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