CBOE President: Bitcoin ETFs Will Follow Futures Products

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is expressing new confidence in bitcoin’s future.

In an earnings conference call this week, Chris Concannon, president of the derivatives exchange operator, stated that he sees exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on the cryptocurrency coming to markets. Concanno went so far as to refer to bitcoin as a new asset class, saying he believes in the cryptocurrency space in general.

He said:

“With regulated futures of a certain asset class like a bitcoin, you do have an opportunity to introduce ETFs and over time we do envision ETFs coming to market.”

Last week, rival derivatives marketplace operator CME Group announced its intention of offering a bitcoin futures contracts product by the end of 2017, pursuant to approval by U.S. regulators. The company followed CBOE itself, which said it would launch its own bid to offer derivatives based on cryptocurrencies in back in August.

CBOE is also waiting on approval from government regulators.

The statements are notable given that previous attempts to launch ETFs based on bitcoin have not met with success. In September, money manager VanEck withdrew its own filing for a futures ETF after receiving pushback from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Similarly, REX ETFs withdrew its own filings a week later.

This pushback has not stopped other companies from trying to file for a derivatives product. ProShares Capital Management filed for two products in late September, though it is still too early to determine whether the bid will be approved or not.

Disclosure: CME Group is an investor in Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk’s parent company.

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