The chairman and CEO of Cboe Global Markets has said that objections raised by the Futures Industry Association are ‘uncalled for,’ regarding the bitcoin futures launch.
Speaking last week, ahead of its bitcoin futures contract launch, Ed Tilly, told the Financial News [paywall] that comments from Walt Lukken, FIA CEO, were ‘irresponsible.’ According to Lukken, the futures had come to the market too quickly.
Chicago-based exchange Cboe has become the first U.S. traditional finance exchange to trade the digital currency, allowing investors to bet on the price of it. This comes after it received regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week. Fellow Chicago-based exchange CME Group is to launch its own bitcoin futures on the 18th December after receiving approval too.
However, last week, the FIA, which has members that include banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, sent an open letter to the CFTC arguing that the launch of the products were leaving ‘little or no time for public review.’
In reply, Tilly said:
I think letters like that and cheap shots to our regulator, the CFTC, are uncalled for to make it seem this was an overnight self-certification without the proper amount of CFTC involvement. This is just irresponsible. I respect all the concerns that the industry has but when it’s articulated in the way the FIA did, not so much.
He added that the regulator has been working alongside Cboe for months ‘at every level.’
The first full day of trading on Cboe’s bitcoin futures took place on Monday, which saw the price of the cryptocurrency jump from below $15,000 to over $17,000. At one point trading had to be halted due to a surge in value; however, this was reported to have only been for five minutes.
Since the launch of the bitcoin futures Tilly said that everything had gone according to plan and that he fully believes there will be ‘more to come’ in relation to other cryptocurrency-related products such as ETFs. Speaking to the Mail Online after the launch, he added:
We will be building confidence in the coming months, and stay tuned, there are more to come.
Yet, despite this, Thomas Peterffy, the founder and chairman of broker-dealer Interactive Brokers Group, also wrote a letter to the CFTC expressing his concerns about clearing bitcoin futures through the same clearing houses as other derivatives.
In response Tilly argued:
We listen when he [Peterffy] talks. That was raised at OCC. OCC considered that, as they should when Thomas speaks, and determined that the current structure of OCC’s clearing fund was the appropriate one. Again, I default to their expertise and I’m comfortable with their decision.