B3, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, confirmed that within six months it intends to launch its first official product aimed at the cryptocurrency market — Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading. The group's chief financial officer, André Milanez, made the announcement during a conference call on Monday.
Milanez did not provide many details on how the product will work. It is not yet known if B3 will form a partnership or if it will offer Bitcoin futures trading directly, but the timeline for launching this product was stated to be relatively short. "We plan to launch bitcoin futures in the next three to six months," he said.
Currently, in Brazil, institutional and retail investors can trade 11 ETFs through B3 with exposure to cryptocurrencies, including CRPT11 from Empiricus with Vitreo; the NFTS11 of Investo; QBTC11, QETH11 and QDFI11 all from QR Assets and META11, HASH11, BITH11, ETHE11, DEFI11, WEB311 all from Hashdex. In addition, in Brazil, there are more than 25 investment funds approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) that offer different types of exposure to the crypto-assets market.
In January Jochen Mielke de Lima, director of information technology at B3, had already said that the Brazilian stock exchange would launch several products with exposure to cryptocurrencies in 2022, including Bitcoin futures and Ethereum (ETH) futures
At the time, the executive highlighted that the Brazilian stock exchange had been looking closely at the cryptocurrency market from a technological point of view since 2016.
According to the statement, B3 only needed to settle the question on whether the negotiations would be carried out against the U.S. dollar or against the Brazilian real. Futures contracts need a reference index, so if the team chooses Brazil's native currency, it will be necessary to compose a crypto-assets index in reais — something that does not exist now.
The B3 rep also said it is exploring ways to provide data inputs for the country’s central bank digital currency, or CBDC.
B3 and Cryptocurrencies
In addition to BTC and ETH futures, B3 also intends to offer services to national cryptocurrency exchanges and to be a kind of "centralizer" of custody and settlement operations, according to Jochen Mielke de Lima:
“We have around 30 national crypto exchanges, apart from the international ones that operate here. We could offer a service to facilitate and standardize their operations. I believe it has something to explore in providing custody services and in the settlement process.”
Mielke, also stated that the cryptocurrency market is very similar to the regulated stock market, as it involves issuing, trading, settlement and custody. He stated therefore that B3 could help solve common problems between exchanges.
“We are identifying points of friction that we can help resolve to face up, such as helping our customers provide the best access to their end customers,” he said.
In addition, B3 plans other products based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain to launch in 2022. Among them, there are studies on a platform for asset tokenization, cryptocurrency trading, cryptocurrency custody, among others.
"Trading and access to liquidity centers: this means mitigating the complexities of accessing a fragmented, global and 24x7 market; Digital Asset Custody: providing reliable custody (hence, purpose of blockchain transactions); Over-the-counter facilitation: thIn this way, it wants to provide more security and efficiency in the movement and DVP of digital assets; Capital efficiency gains: thus, it wants to mitigate the pre-funded nature of operations and Crypto as a service: make it easier for clients to explore the crypto market with low friction," highlighted B3.
For 2022, B3 reps said they foresee the official launch of a reinsurance platform. This will work on the Corda blockchain R3, and is a partnership between the exchange and IRB Brazil.