One of the landmark moments in the history of Bitcoin was reached towards the end of 2017 when the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange), applied with the SEC to list six Bitcoin-related ETFs (exchange-traded funds), looking to beat fellow exchange CME Group to be the first Bitcoin futures exchange.
Anyone familiar with the CBOE and the CME exchanges will know that both are serious operations. Over the past few months, the CBOE daily volume of trades hovered around the 20 million mark, while the CME passed the 17 million daily contracts mark. The fact that they’re basically fighting with each other over Bitcoin then, is significant.
Exchange Traded Funds are marketable securities which track an index, a commodity, or a basket of assets, which usually follow a theme (for example, environmentally friendly assets or emerging market assets). There are already several ETFs tracking Bitcoin, giving it further legitimacy among a sometimes skeptical market. The ones which the CBOE have requested to list are:
Bitcoin ETF list
- First Trust Bitcoin Strategy ETF
- First Trust Inverse Bitcoin Strategy ETF
- REX Bitcoin Strategy ETF
- REX Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF
- GraniteShares Bitcoin ETF
- GraniteShares Short Bitcoin ETF
For now, this is seen as something of a publicity play by both exchanges. The idea is that it will allow traders to bet on the volatility of Bitcoin (which is notoriously volatile for now but stands to become more stable because of moves like this). Regardless, this is yet another step for Bitcoin away from the fringes and into the mainstream.
A CBOE spokesman said: “Given the success of the launch of our bitcoin futures, several partners are very interested in moving forward with the development of an exchange-traded product,” The CBOE and CME aren’t alone, in their desire to move forward with Bitcoin, either: none other than the NYSE has also filed an application to list two Bitcoin ETFs. It seems like it won’t be too long before Bitcoin ETFs are popping up in investor portfolios everywhere.