Cboe Global Markets Inc. will not add new bitcoin futures contracts for trading in March.
The Chicago-based exchange "is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading" and does not intend to list additional contracts for trading, according to its March 2019 product update. Bitcoin futures contracts that are currently listed will remain available for trading.
Cboe initially launched bitcoin futures trading on Dec. 10, 2017. It opened at $15,000 and had traded almost 900 contracts in the first two hours of trading. Cboe's cross-town exchange rival CME Group Inc., which has more breadth in the futures space, launched bitcoin futures trading just days after Cboe did in 2017.
Many industry experts expected bitcoin-based exchange-traded-funds to be on the horizon once bitcoin futures trading took off, but that has yet to be realized. While regulators have been cautious about opening cryptocurrency markets too broadly, Wall Street companies continue to expand services in the space.
In August 2018, Cboe was planning to launch futures products tied to ether, the cryptocurrency on the Ethereum network. Intercontinental Exchange Inc., owner of the New York Stock Exchange, launched a cryptocurrency company called Bakkt. Nasdaq Inc. began partnering with Gemini Trust Co. LLC, the cryptocurrency company led by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, in April 2018 to create a surveillance tool to monitor for abusive or manipulative trading practices in Gemini's cryptocurrency markets.
The price of bitcoin sat at $3,908.17 at 3 p.m. ET on March 15. Bitcoin futures are settled in cash, not bitcoin, so the price of bitcoin is not moved by the futures market.
When asked for additional comment about the change, a Cboe spokesperson referred to the company's statement in its product update.