It has been over a year since the Cboe and CME listed the world's first bitcoin futures contracts, the first ever bitcoin investment product to hit the legacy industry. Both futures went just before bitcoin peaked in its $20,000 all-time high. Out-the-gate trading for the derivatives represented 2017's market frenzy, also Cboe's futures alone traded over 800 contracts(roughly $12,000,000 in the time) over the initial two weeks of their launching.
With the invention of these markets, the anticipation of bitcoin's debut on Wall Street conjured up delusions of grandeur. The apparently unstoppable advantage, which had transcended all-time high after all-time large with simplicity all throughout the 2017 holiday season, was on the cusp of getting its biggest flush of capital yet.
Cue 2018 along with the bear.
Currently, bitcoin is down about 80 percent from the all-time high. Its launch into mainstream institutional markets obviously did not send us into a new paradigm, and also some in the community even feel that the futures the contrary effect -- that they were the cause of the crash.
2018 was not the year of institutionalization that several bitcoin shareholders hoped that it would be. On the contrary, it's been a Sisyphean battle to give Wall Street a simpler in, perhaps best exemplified by the industry's ongoing trial and failure to obtain an ETF approved by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Nonetheless, there are a small number of exceptional obligations and undependable launch dates that could make 2019 the actual year that bitcoin makes headway in the institutional investment arena. The products associated with these deadlines include two futures offerings and VanEck's long-anticipated bitcoin ETF.
For those products, below are a few dates to watch out for and a brief explanation of how they work.
ICE's Bakkt: January 24, 2019
Described"as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, retailer and consumer participation in electronic assets" with its CEO Kelly Loefller, the stage has been viewed as a crypto payment solution with an additional incentive: physically delivered futures contracts.
Unlike present futures products offered by both Cboe and CME, which are not physically sold and settled in cash, Bakkt's contracts would be settled in kind with bitcoin. Originally anticipated to start in November of 2018, the stage has been postponed until the tentative date of January 24, 2019.
Bakkt's team delayed the launch to hammer out client customer onboarding and work with regulators on acceptance. It must be noted that, as of this writing, Bakkt has not received regulatory approval in the United States Commodities and Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) to record the futures contract.
VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF: February 27, 2019
Fewer institutional grade investment products have now bathed in the business limelight quite like the VanEck along with SolidX bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF).
The newest in a slew of attempts by various actors to give the world's very first bitcoin ETF, the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is the sole bitcoin ETF introduced 2018 whose submitting has not been determined on by the SEC. Unlike most of its 2018 predecessors, the ETF would source its prices from the bitcoin spot market -- not the Cboe and CME futures markets.
Even the SEC has postponed its decision about the VanEck SolidX ETF twice, but come February 27, 2018, it's going to have to make a decision, though in fact an individual can come sooner than this.
Along with the ETF, the SEC will even have to make its final choice on nine other ETFs which, after being rejected at the staffing level, were accounted for review from the commission. In the time of publication, no dates are revealed for if this decision might take place.
Nasdaq’s Bitcoin Futures: Q1 of 2019
Nasdaq teased the prospect of launch its bitcoin stocks during 2018, and, as we head into 2019, the market is looking to earn good on its promises.
But these claims are still a bit stricter. The market has not released many details about how the futures will operate, nor has it contributed much info on the launching date. We do understand that their tentative launch date is forecast to drop in Q1 of all 2019, and Nasdaq has partnered with VanEck to source prices with VanEck's MVIS Bitcoin Index.
Like Bakkt's own futurescontract, Nasdaq has yet to receive the greenlight from the CFTC to list the stocks.