TD Ameritrade-backed digital asset exchange ErisX launches Ethereum futures

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp-backed digital assets exchange startup ErisX has launched Ethereum futures trading, the first company in the U.S. to do so.

The first of its kind to be authorized by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the ETH futures contracts allow investors to buy and sell contracts that allow them to acquire Ethereum at a defined price date in the future.

At launch, futures contracts are available on ETH for May through to September with trades taking place through ErisX’s own platform. The futures contracts are physically settled with the delivery of actual tokens rather than a cash equivalent, according to Coindesk.

“We strongly believe that the Ethereum blockchain community and broader capital markets benefit from access to regulated products and we are pleased to be the first U.S. exchange to offer these futures contracts,” Thomas Chippas, chief executive officer of ErisX, said in a statement. “Our contract sizes are accessible for any investor while our technology stack and regulatory framework meet institutional expectations.”

The foray into Ethereum futures isn’t the company’s first foray into cryptocurrency futures having launched bitcoin futures in December. Notably, though, its bitcoin futures have not found an audience with little trading in the product. Trade volume on the ErisX bitcoin futures was a total of two for the day. The ETH futures have yet to find a buyer.

Those numbers could change with time. Bakkt, another provide of bitcoin futures bombed on debut in September but has since grown its audience, now seeing volume of close to 2,000 trades a day.

The approval of the ETH futures by the CTFC doesn’t come as a great surprise. Chairman Heath Tarbert said in October that he considered Ether, the main cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain as a commodity. Classification as a commodity is key to obtaining regulatory approval for futures tradings.

Photo: Maxpixel

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