Crypto Facilities, a UK-based cryptocurrency trading platform, has launched the “first regulated” futures contracts for Ethereum (ETH), the world’s second largest digital currency by market capitalization, according to a press-release May 11.
Crypto Facilities, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, started trading Ethereum derivatives contracts Friday at 4 p.m. UK time. The products will enable investors to take a long or short position on the cryptocurrency, which will reportedly allow them to “broaden investment opportunities and manage risks more effectively.”
With ETH futures, the London-based firm will expand its derivatives offering, which currently includes Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP) futures. Liquidity for the Crypto Facilities ETH futures product will be provided by trading firms Akuna Capital and B2C2, which are based in Chicago and London respectively. Timo Schlaefer, CEO of Crypto Facilities, said:
“...The Ethereum network is the pre-eminent blockchain for smart contracts, and we believe this new trading instrument will attract more investors and bring greater liquidity to the marketplace.”
Reports of regulatory uncertainty have surfaced regarding whether Ethereum qualifies as a security, a claim which Ethereum Foundation cofounder Joseph Lubin refutes. Regarding the recent controversy, Schlaefer said:
“Whether Ethereum is a security is a matter for different jurisdictions to decide. Crypto Facilities is a derivatives platform and complies with the applicable regulation.”
Schlaefer also stated that the presence of ETH futures will signal that it has matured in a fashion similar to that of Bitcoin:
“Bitcoin has gone through a process of maturation as a financial asset with a futures market in the past year. And Ethereum is following a similar path this year.”
In December 2017, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) started BTC futures trading. A week later the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) introduced Bitcoin futures as well.
Recently, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco issued an Economic Letter suggesting that the BTC price decline following its $20,000 peak was the result of the launch of Bitcoin futures trading by CBOE and CME. The letter states that the introduction of futures didn't cause the BTC price to collapse overnight due to the relatively low trading volume of BTC in the futures market.