Bitcoin’s Wall Street Moment Has Arrived

By Josiah Wilmoth

With the impending launch of bitcoin futures contracts on regulated U.S. exchanges, bitcoin has officially earned its Wall Street moment and is on the verge of gravitating into the mainstream.

Bitcoin Futures to Launch in Mid-December

This year has been a watershed for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The industry has seen unprecedented growth, both in terms of market value and the underlying infrastructure of the blockchain ecosystem.

This sustained uptrend has caused many skeptics to label bitcoin a “speculative bubble,” comparing it to Tulipmania in 17th-century Holland or the Beanie Baby craze in the late 1990s. Some have been more pointed in their attacks, such as JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who derided it as an outright “fraud.”

However, this week brought multiple announcements that demonstrated the folly of these assessments. Friday morning, the Chicago-based CME — the world’s largest derivatives exchange — announced that it had self-certified to list bitcoin future contracts on December 18, pending final approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

That same day, fellow Chicago exchange CBOE announced that it had filed a product certification with the CFTC to list bitcoin futures. The CBOE futures to not yet have a target launch date, but the exchange says it will announce this soon.

Those announcements followed a Wall Street Journal report that stated that Nasdaq Inc. plans to introduce bitcoin contracts on its futures exchange by the second quarter of next year. The report also revealed that Cantor, a lesser-known exchange located in New York, will become the second regulated exchange — LedgerX was the first — to offer bitcoin swaps.

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