Why stock exchanges are competing for bitcoin trading

The opportunity was too good. And stock traders have not resisted. While bitcoin is experiencing almost unprecedented growth in the history of the markets, several financial centers have decided to take the plunge and launch their own products based on cryptocurrency.

The goal? And above all, gaining momentum in a market lacking financial innovation, and where equities and bonds offer less yield prospects in 2018.

Bitcoin, how many billions?

On paper, bitcoin is a small “eldorado” for the stock markets, even if it is very volatile. In 2017, the price of the virtual currency has literally soared, from 900 to more than 15,000 dollars (12,750 euros). Whether on volumes or amounts of transactions, the figures are unpublished. Not to mention the number of investors, which continues to grow.

Today, bitcoin is more than 500,000 transactions daily and a global capitalization that exceeds 250 billion dollars (213 billion euros), almost as much as Nestlé (265 billion dollars). At this rate, the cryptocurrency could quickly catch up with the behemoths Apple and Google. And make the happiness of the traders who are paid by a commission system on transactions.

There is virtually no financial asset to experience such gains and to attract so many new investors. Even investment funds and investment banks are ready to go.

Who is positioned on bitcoin?

Several financial centers are already on the niche. And not least. This Sunday, the Chicago board options exchange ( Cboe ) draws the first. The operator launches the first cryptocurrency futures contracts.

In a few days, December 18, it will be the turn of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), one of the largest trading companies in the world, to launch its contracts, while the Nasdaq plans to do the same in the first half of 2018 .

But American operators are not the only ones to look at bitcoin. Other operators, such as the London Stock Exchange and those in Hong Kong are also thinking of launching products to take a piece of the cake.

At Euronext, as at the New York Stock Exchange , the sound of the bell is a little different. Especially because of the fears of such contracts. ” Bitcoin is not a currency but an asset, […]. Euronext is not intended to support the development of an asset that can be qualified as speculative, ” explains its CEO , French Stéphane Boujnah.

What are the arguments of each?

Whether it’s Chicago, New York or the other bitcoin listings, each one highlights the quality of its infrastructure and its ability to offer the best products. The Cboe, specializing in “options”, highlights the sophistication of its derivatives , in particular to cover variations of bitcoin.

For its part, Chicago’s CME, the world’s leading futures trading company, claims its ability to manage a large number of transactions and to control high price volatility. A significant advantage for the listing of cryptocurrency, the value can very quickly run away.

Finally, the Nasdaq, which is the largest electronic stock market in the world, has for it the advantage of being the Stock Exchange of technological values, in phase, therefore, with the very “techno” image conveyed by the bitcoin. Although futures are not his specialty, his positioning is an asset.

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About the Author: Dara Steenburgh

Dara has been a reporter at with Crypoto Post Gazette since Nov. 2016. She enjoys running, practicing minimalism, reading whatever Oprah recommends, and trying out the next best skincare item that probably won't work. Dara is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she studied journalism, Arabic and international affairs. To contact Dara, just click here

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