Did Bitcoin Futures Set the Groundwork for Institutional Money in Crypto?

Jan 15 · 4 min read

Until one or two years ago, cryptocurrencies used to be a divisive topic in the world of traditional finance and institutional investment. While some heralded it as the future of money, others found it difficult to invest in due to the absence of regulation, respectable custodians, and other infrastructure. However, this debate mostly came to an end with the introduction of the first Bitcoin futures contracts by CME Group and Cboe Global Markets in late 2017.

Per Investopedia, futures are financial contracts that represent an investor’s agreement to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined future date and price. When a futures contract expires, the asset must be bought or sold at the agreed upon price, regardless of the prevailing market rate. Since this process essentially involves betting on the future price direction of the asset, futures are an extremely lucrative and profitable financial derivative product.

When Bitcoin futures were first announced, many long-time cryptocurrency watchers finally got the opportunity to enter the ecosystem in a safe and regulated manner. Over time, a variety of institutions, including hedge funds, endowments, and pension funds, began recognizing the merits of the crypto market.

Understanding the Impact of Bitcoin Futures

In the following months, and throughout 2018, institutions began to acknowledge crypto as a legitimate asset class. According to Morgan Creek Capital Management’s Mark Yusko, the stagnant crypto market in 2018 encouraged investment from institutional investors “without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping digital assets.”

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, also pointed out that institutional interest in the cryptocurrency market has been on the rise. In August 2019, he tweeted, “Whether institutions were going to adopt crypto or not was an open question about 12 months ago. I think it’s safe to say we now know the answer. We see $200–400M a week in new crypto deposits come in from institutional customers.”

Why Are Bitcoin Futures Such a Big Deal?

A Bitcoin futures contract solves all of these problems, allowing institutional money to flow into the market. This, in turn, boosts liquidity and adds to the legitimacy of the overall cryptocurrency market. Unlike crypto exchanges, providers of futures contracts also have to comply with strict regulations laid down by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), making them inherently more trustworthy and appealing to professional investors. Realizing this demand, crypto exchanges have started to offer dedicated custody solutions so that traditional investors can invest in the crypto market even outside of derivative products such as futures.

However, Bitcoin futures do little to prevent more casual investors from losing their wealth. In fact, since the contract forces crypto to be bought or sold at a predetermined date and time, an incorrect prediction can result in an unproductive portfolio. Alluva, a free token reward-based web app, alleviates this problem by offering rewards to anyone that accurately predicts future crypto prices. No prior investment is necessary either.

What the Future(s)Holds

It is only a matter of time before an exchange that is ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices’ (sic) comes along and wins the SEC’s approval. Such an event would likely be just as big of a milestone as the first Bitcoin futures contract back in 2017.

For more interesting content on the crypto industry, follow our Medium profile here. Earn your first reward on Alluva by signing up for an account here. To stay updated with the latest Alluva related developments, follow our blog here, join us on Twitter here, or join our Telegram group here.

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity


Written by


Alluva, the largest global analyst platform, rewards users for their cryptoasset predictions, and gives institutional investors tomorrow’s prices, today.

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade