On March 13, American derivatives marketplace CME announced the launch of Bitcoin (BTC) futures event contracts. The exchange, which is fully regulated and has cleared administrative review, will henceforth facilitate cash-settled, daily expiring contracts tied to Bitcoin futures with a "lower-cost way for investors to trade their views on the up or down price moves of Bitcoin." Tim McCourt, global head of equity and FX products at CME Group, commented:
"Our new event contracts on Bitcoin futures provide a limited-risk, highly transparent way for a wide range of investors to access the Bitcoin market via a fully regulated exchange. These cash-settled, daily expiring contracts will further complement our existing suite which have traded more than 550,000 contracts to-date."
On March 10, Cointelegraph reported that asset manager VanEck's spot Bitcoin trust application was denied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The commissioners noted that the SEC had denied every application for a spot Bitcoin trust that has been filed, amounting to almost 20 over the last six years.
Days prior, digital currency management firm Grayscale published a transcript related to its ongoing lawsuit with the SEC over the denial of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) to be converted into an exchange-traded fund. According to the transcript, Judge Neomi Rao commented:
"Because it seems to me that these things, one is just essentially a derivative of the other. They move together 99.9% of the time. So, where’s the gap in the Commission’s view?"
Currently, GBTC is trading at a discount of 38.19% to net asset value, up from a historic low of 50%. The firm's litigation with the SEC is ongoing.