Cboe Said to Be Planning Ether Futures Launch by Year-End

The Ether futures would most likely be launched by the end of 2018, pending a regulatory nod.

Cboe, the Chicago-based futures exchange that launched Bitcoin futures at the end of 2017, is planning to expand the product offering with Ether futures, according to a report by Business Insider.

Quoting anonymous insiders, the publication said this may happen by the end of 2018. Cboe would most likely base the Ether futures on the underlying market of New York-based and regulated crypto exchange Gemini, as is the case with the Bitcoin futures, the sources said. For now, the Chicago exchange is waiting for approval from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Crypto experts expressed relative optimism about the move, noting that the launch of Ether futures would expand the trading opportunities and might pave the way for eventual regulatory approval for cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs). So far, attempts to list various crypto ETFs on regulated US markets have been shot down by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), most recently this August.

“Cboe's offering will enable crypto traders to take both long and short positions in [E]ther, and it's another step forward to a new accepted asset class. With this, I think the new investment opportunity will take crypto out of the bearish market and reverse to a new bull,” Danny Kim of crypto trading technology company SFOX told Business Insider.

Cboe launched its Bitcoin futures early in December 2017, beating rival CME by a few days. This led to a surge in the cryptocurrency’s price, which hit an all-time high of around $20,000 and sparked massive interest in overall crypto trading. However, the enthusiasm was short-lived, and crypto prices have been mostly falling since then.