The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is confident that Ethereum futures are likely to arrive in 2020. This could be good timing if altseason fails to materialize in the next few months and Ethereum prices remain low.
Ethereum Futures Next Year
At a fireside chat during the first day of DC Fintech Week, CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert said he ‘absolutely’ believes Ethereum futures could trade in the next 6 to 12 months.
“The volume to which it’ll trade, no idea, that’s where the markets decide, but my guess is now that we’ve provided at least … a little bit more clarity on [ether’s eligibility for futures contracts], my guess is market participants will consider that.”
He continued to state that there have been no official applications by firms willing to launch Ethereum futures contracts. Considering the current regulatory atmosphere in the US though that is hardly surprising. At the moment four contenders could emerge and they are likely to be Seed CX, ErisX, Tassat and LedgerX.
So far there has been no response from CME or CBOE as to whether they will be offering Ether base futures. A CME spokesperson told Coindesk that they are focused on bringing options on CME Bitcoin futures to market in Q1 2020 and continuing to grow their CME CF Reference Rates and Real-Time Indices.
Tarbert continued adding that a CFTC regulated exchange would provide investor confidence for Ethereum products in that there would be no market manipulation. When asked about other crypto assets he added that there will be other derivatives coming soon to a market near you, but failed to specify further details or time frames.
Bullish For ETH Prices
Ethereum is still way down from its peak whereas Bitcoin was approaching its all-time high when futures were first launched. In mid-December 2017 BTC prices were hitting their ATH of a shade under $20,000.
Two futures products offering the opportunity to short the asset for the first time were launched and prices predictably dumped. Industry observers have not let this go unnoticed;
ETH is in no way overpriced at the moment and the markets are not overbought. It is down around 87.5% from its peak and still deep in the middle of a two year bear market.
Work on ETH 2.0 is already underway though the complete roll out could be at least another year away. Istanbul will address the preliminary issues while initial phases of Serenity will begin early next year in the form of beacon chain.