Nasdaq bitcoin futures appear to be in the making. The stock exchange is currently exploring ways of offering clients bitcoin futures products different from the ones previously launched by its competitors, CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC.

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Speaking during an interview at The Sanctuary in Davos, Switzerland, Nasaq CEO Adena Friedman said that the stock exchange is considering a different type of bitcoin futures contract than the ones currently available.

“We are continuing to investigate the idea of a cryptocurrency futures (contract) with a partner and we continue to look at the risk management around that, making sure we are putting the right protocols in place, making sure there’s proper demand, and that the contract is different from what’s already out there,” Friedman told CNBC.

Derivatives exchange CBOE Global Markets and fellow Chicago-based CME (the world’s largest options and futures exchange) started trading bitcoin futures products in December 2017.

The smooth and successful bitcoin futures launch could pave the way for other cryptocurrency products, such as options and ETFs, CBOE Chief Executive Ed Tilly said at the time.

Nasdaq bitcoin futures, “more of an investment than a tracking stock”

Once the CME and CBOE products were announced and confirmed, Nasdaq announced it had also lined up bitcoin futures for next year, as early as 2Q. While there is no clear timeline on the launch, Friedman’s recent comments at The Sanctuary in Davos confirm the initiative and suggest the product is under development.

According to Friedman, the Nasdaq bitcoin futures contract will be different from the CBOE and CME offerings, that track the price of bitcoin and operate in reference to its future price.

“What we might look at is more of a total return futures, so it’s a little bit of a different construct,” Friedman said, explaining that what Nasdaq has in mind is “more of an investment than a tracking stock”.

“We will have to see whether it makes sense at the end of the day, proper client demand, and on a risk-management side ‘do we feel confident?,’ in which case we would look to go to the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission),” Friedman added.

Nasdaq bitcoin futures – Image source:

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