Crypto Futures Expansion Won't Happen Soon, CME's Duffy Says

(Bloomberg) -- CME Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy said that in his nearly four decades in trading, Bitcoin futures “might have been the most controversial launch of a product” and he reiterated the company’s not in a hurry to list more cryptocurrency-related contracts.

“I will not just put products up there to see where they’re going to go,” Duffy said in an interview Thursday on Bloomberg Television. “I will take a wait and see approach with Bitcoin for now.”

CME, the world’s largest exchange operator, started offering Bitcoin futures in December, shortly after rival Chicago exchange Cboe Global Markets Inc. CME’s contract is five times as large as Cboe’s and trading in both contracts has been relatively modest since their introduction.

“We’re not seeing huge flows regardless and that’s OK,” Duffy said. “This is going to take some time one way or another and we’ll do it the right way.”

Cboe has traded 5,881 contracts a day so far in 2018, beating CME’s daily average of 3,063, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. But looked at another way, CME is winning. CME’s daily average works out to 15,317 Bitcoin daily, more than double the amount at Cboe.

Bitcoin futures is a sliver of CME’s business. In the second quarter, CME’s total average daily volume was 18.4 million contracts.

While CME has expressed caution over introducing more cryptocurrency contracts, Cboe has strongly hinted that it wants to expand into derivatives on other cryptocurrencies.

Duffy said he doesn’t want derivatives novices to trade the futures contract “because it is highly volatile and new.” Duffy said earlier this year the company would be cautious with introducing other futures based on cryptocurrencies.

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