- Ether Futures could be seen in 6-12 months
- CFTC declared ether a commodity a few weeks ago
- No one has approached the regulator yet with a launch proposal
The Chairman of CFTC has said we should expect ether futures contract sometime in 2020. However, he clarified that no company had made any move yet to launch the product.
The Next Six To 12 Months
Heath Tarbert, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman was speaking at Georgetown University during a fireside chat on the first day of the DC Fintech Week, where he told moderator Chris Brummer that he “absolutely” believes ether futures could trade in the next six to 12 months. Adding that he wasn’t sure about the volumes he anticipated it would likely trade in, Tarbert stated:
“I’d say it is likely that you would see a futures contract in the next six months to a year. Now that we’ve provided at least a little bit more clarity on Ether’s eligibility for futures contracts, my guess is market participants will consider that.”
Ether a Commodity
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has said in the past it was ready and willing to approve an ether futures contract as long it ticked all the right boxes. The CFTC, which oversees derivatives markets in the U.S., already allowed bitcoin futures markets to launch with CME Group and CBOE Global exchange offering cash-settled contracts at the end of 2017.
The CFTC chair declared ether a commodity a few weeks ago and announced that the agency would be willing to approve futures contracts on the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Noting that no one had approached the regulator with an offer, Tarbert stated:
“Now in the past most people have not been self-certifying, they’ve been coming to us particularly if they’re creating an entirely new exchange and DCO [derivatives clearing organization] so it’ll depend I think in large part on who wants to have it on their trading platform. Is it one of our existing exchanges that’s been working with the CFTC for years or is it an entirely new platform that wants to specialize in it?”
Request for Input
The CFTC first showed its interest in Ethereum last December when the agency published a Request for Input and asked several questions about the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
The questions ranged from the consensus mechanism Ethereum is likely to eventually adopt (proof-of-stake) and replace the Bitcoin-style mining as well as how ether deposits could be audited. CFTC explicitly asked how the introduction of derivatives contracts might have on the cryptocurrency. Only time will tell whether anyone will be willing to offer ether futures contracts in the United States market.