The smooth launch of Bitcoin futures, in theory, should cement cryptocurrencies as an asset class.
Both Chicago-based major derivatives exchanges (CBOE and the CME Group) are rumored to be preparing to launch Ethereum and Litecoin futures. The plan could have been developed well in advance, sources say. With the launch of Bitcoin futures being a test bed for the deployment of more cryptocurrency derivatives, the expansion of the asset class to the futures markets may be only just beginning.
According to the sources the launch of both contracts is imminent. In theory, the successful launch of the Bitcoin contract should add confidence in the market and in the broad asset class.
Trading volumes on the Bitcoin futures contract on the first day after the official launch was a little over 4,000 BTC, which is a minuscule amount when compared to the physical Bitcoin market. The contracts did not go as anticipated, but the smooth operations (save for 2 circuit breaker triggers) should, in theory, open the doors for exchanges to deploy more derivatives on cryptocurrencies. CME Group is preparing to launch Bitcoin futures next week.
Price action across crypto exchanges seems to be anticipating something of the like, with Ethereum prices rising over 30 percent during the past 24 hours and Litecoin ballooning almost 80 percent as of writing.
With the rumors already encircling the market, punters have been quick to pile up holdings of Bitcoin alternatives. The dominance of BTC across the broader cryptocurrency markets declined in recent days to a low of 59 percent, when compared to 67 percent of the total crypto market cap last Friday.