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ErisX receives CFTC licence to clear physically-settled BTC futures

Benson Toti

ErisX has received a new licence by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to offer Bitcoin futures contracts.

The company announced yesterday in a blog post that the regulator had granted its subsidiary, Eris Clearing, a derivatives clearing organisation (DCO) licence, which would supplement the Designated Contract Market (DCM) licence already held by Eris Exchange.

“ErisX is unique in that for our digital asset market, we have divided the trading and settlement functions using traditional DCM (exchange) and DCO (clearing) models,” Thomas Chippas, chief executive officer of ErisX, said in a statement. “This reflects the structure that institutional investors expect from other asset classes and will help drive these markets toward greater relevance and accessibility.”

The DCO licence would allow Eris Clearing to offer the clearing of digital asset futures contracts traded on ErisX’s regulated derivatives market, which the company plans to launch later this year.

ErisX is one of several derivatives providers in the US that aim to offer physically-settled Bitcoin futures, where customers receive real Bitcoins when the contracts expire. One of those is LedgerX, which received a DCM licence from the CFTC last week.

Bakkt, the the Bitcoin platform of NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange, is also planning to launch physically-settled Bitcoin futures later this year. Recently, Bakkt revealed that it was looking to commence “user acceptance testing” for its two Bitcoin futures contracts on July 22. The platform is yet to reveal the official launch data for the products.

Chicago-based derivatives marketplace operators Cboe Global Markets and CME Group, were the first companies to launch Bitcoin futures products in the US. Both companies launched their offerings in December, 2017 and greatly contributed to Bitcoin’s record-breaking price rally that took place during that month. However, both Cboe’s and CME’s offerings are cash-settled, meaning that customers receive cash, rather than cryptocurrency.

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