Economy

CME Group's Leo Melamed: We'll 'Tame' Bitcoin

CME Group's Leo Melamed: We'll 'Tame' Bitcoin”

During the past year, Bitcoin has single-handedly dominated the now $200-billion cryptocurrency market hands-down and has received both - appreciation and serious criticism from well-known personalities from the world of finance.

Last week, CME Group Inc. announced that it will soon offer bitcoin futures trading. This is most likely to bring a lot of liquidity as more investors will participate in the daily trading process without any need to actually own Bitcoins.

Melamed told Reuters that he expects institutional investors to take part in the futures contracts, rather than just speculators, and called the move a "very important step for bitcoin's history". Since the beginning of 2017, the price of bitcoin has gone up more than 500 percent, starting at the sub-US$1,000 level and now surging past the US$6,400 mark, as noted in a CoinDesk report. "We'll tame [bitcoin] into a regular type instrument of trade with rules", he said.

CME meanwhile officially stated it was client interest that drove its decision to support Bitcoin.

With bitcoin futures expected to be available in the current quarter, some industry observers believe it is only a matter of time before a bitcoin ETF hits the market.

In a statement to Bloomberg, CME Group chief executive officer Terrence Duffy expressed his optimism about his firm's upcoming bitcoin futures contract.

Blankfein had said he was "still thinking" about Bitcoin and last week added to his openness to accept what currency could look like in the "new world".

"Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have chose to introduce a bitcoin futures contract", chairman and CEO Terry Duffy had commented in a press release October 31. "I too went from not believing (in bitcoin) to wanting to know more", he said.

Pundits say blockchain will enable the transfer of assets without a centralized system such as banks and sharply reduce costs of money transfer.

Melamed also says that he has always been supportive of new technological developments.

"My whole life is built [around] new technology". I never said no to technology.

"I'm still that same guy who believes in, at least examining change", he explained.

Six-fold gains in the bitcoin price BTC=BTSP so far this year have stirred a debate among financial professionals on whether the digital currency represents a revolution in financial technology or just another tech bubble.



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