Crypto Derivatives Advance, Somewhat


Since CME Group and Cboe Global Markets launched bitcoin futures contracts in late 2017, it was only a matter of time before others stepped up to offer additional crypto derivatives to institutional investors.

However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission decided earlier this week to leave the fate of bitcoin-based exchange-traded funds in limbo for a little bit longer. The market regulator will delay its final determination on whether NYSE Arca could list the Direxion family of bitcoin ETFs until September 21, which is the maximum 240-day delay allowed for a proposed rule change.

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change,” noted the Commission in its filing in the Federal Register.

Meanwhile, things are advancing steadily on the forwards front as trueDigital reached a significant milestone in its drive to launch a trading venue for crypto-based deliverable and non-deliverable forwards with the launch of its end-of-day Bitcoin and Ether Reference Rates and Index.

The new offerings provide a daily 4:30 pm ET snap for bitcoin and ether based on data provided by ten of the largest liquidity providers in the crypto markets, including Genesis Global Trading, XBTO Group, Circle, DV Chain, Hehmeyer, and Altonomy, according to trueDigital officials.

The firm decided to source data from market markers rather than crypto exchanges for greater transparency, Nick Goodrich, head of business development and product development at trueDigital, told Markets Media.

“There is a difference between going through an exchange and going through a market maker or a liquidity provider directly,” he said. “We always know who is on the other end of that data.”

The firm established a four-hour fixing window, in which it takes an average of 30-second cleaning intervals to clean data and check for possible manipulation automatically and manually, according to Goodrich.

If trueDigital detects that a market maker’s prices have deviated too far from the average of the other market markets, it will investigate.

“At certain levels, we will just flag it and bring it up for further review later,” said Goodrich. “At other certain levels, we will automatically exclude that market maker for the daily rate. We will then investigate and reach out to the market maker to see if it was a legitimate view of the market that the other market makers may not share or if it was a flaw in their algorithm.”

Once trueDigtial obtains the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s approval to launch its trading platform, it plans to base its derivatives contracts on its reference rate and index.

Contributing market makers also have access to the index for their internal use, such as marking to market and other functions, he added.

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