The CEO of a major British hedge fund is considering stepping into the digital currency space, pending the launch of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin futures.
Luke Ellis, CEO of U.K.-based hedge fund Man Group, spoke to Reuters yesterday at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in London, and said that if CME launch a bitcoin futures as planned it would add cryptocurrencies to its ‘investment universe.’
Even though he believes there are a number of hurdles that cryptocurrencies need to overcome this doesn’t mean they are not investable, Ellis says.
Conceptually digital currencies are an interesting thing. It’s not part of our investment universe today – it could be. If there is a CME future on bitcoin, it would be.
However, despite the fact that Ellis hinted at the possibility of adding digital currencies depending on the movements of the CME, he didn’t venture any further information as to his company’s plans.
This announcement from Ellis comes on the heels of CME revealing at the end of October that they are planning to launch a bitcoin futures by the end of 2017, pending regulatory approval.
At the time, Terry Duffy, CME Group chairman and CEO, said:
Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract.
Earlier this week Duffy created waves in the market after announcing that the bitcoin futures contract could launch as soon as mid-December. In a report from CNBC, he said:
When can you be able to short this product, I think sometime in the second week in December you’ll see our contract out for listing.
He added, though, that this measure is not his way of trying to stop bitcoin’s volatile shift in value, stating:
What I want to do is give it a place for other people to lay out that risk. Today you cannot short bitcoin. So there’s only one way it can go. You either buy it or sell it to somebody else. So you create a two-sided market, I think it’s always much more efficient.
Last week, bitcoin’s value fell from a new all-time record high of $7,800 to a low of $5,500 over the weekend. At present, it’s trading at over $6,900, according to CoinMarketCap. This steady increase has been helped along by Duffy’s recent remarks. Many are hoping that with the launch of the bitcoin futures it will push the digital currency’s value even higher as more investors get on board with trading in it.