The Tokyo Financial Exchange, one of Japan’s leading financial exchanges, has announced that they will begin preparations for Bitcoin futures offerings at the beginning of 2018. The company boasts some high value trading partners like JP Morgan Chase and Barclays.
The announcement suggests that the exchange will build a working group to study cryptocurrencies and the potential for futures this January. The working group is the first step toward final action and is generally a strong signal for adoption, since it preceded legislation for approval. According to the CEO Shozo Ohta:
“Once the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act recognizes cryptocurrencies as financial products, we will list the futures as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we will launch this working group to study various aspects, including Bitcoin’s present status, its outlook, and what form it will take root in Japan’s society.”
The announcement falls in line with Japan’s previous moves toward adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The country was one of the first to recognize Bitcoin as a legal payment method, and has been open to increasing changes. At present, Japan is the world’s largest Bitcoin market, with about half of all Bitcoin trades globally being denominated in yen.