Nasdaq and VanEck partner to launch ‘Crypto 2.0’ futures contracts

Lizzy Murray


Investment management company VanEck has started a collaboration with Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the world to develop a “regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract”.

The partnership was officially announced during the CoinDesk Consensus: Invest conference. VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy Gabor Gurbacs declared that the first of their new line of products will be released early next year.

“What I’d like to point out is we ran a few extra miles working with the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] to bring about new standards for custody and surveillance,”

, said Gurbacs.

CoinDesk interviewed Gurbacs after the conference when he revealed that their new line of futures products can be considered an “upgrade” to the present regulatory guidelines imposed on existing Bitcoin futures products.

The project is using MVIS’s trusted pricing benchmarks and Nasdaq’s stock markets surveillance system to “inspire confidence with regulators and institutions trying to get involved [in the crypto markets].”

SMARTS is a software designed to automatically detect suspicious market activity like wash trading and spoofing using hundreds of detection algorithms for this purpose. Gurbacs says this technology will guarantee Bitcoin futures trading “in a fair and orderly fashion.”

So far, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has approved two bitcoin futures one run by CBOE in collaboration with Gemini Exchange, and another that’s operated by CME in partnership with Crypto Facilities.

These future contracts are cash-settled. In other words, when the contracts expire there is no need to “physically” move Bitcoins to settle accounts.

On the other hand, Bakkt, a company backed by Intercontinental Exchange plans to launch in January 2019 a physically-settled Bitcoin futures product. This means that the contract owners will receive payment in Bitcoin when the contracts expire.

So far, there is no official information on whether the upcoming Bitcoin futures from Nasdaq and VanEck will also be cash-settled or not.

Furthermore, the proposed VanEck / SolidX physical-backed Bitcoin ETF should receive the final verdict from the Securities and Exchange Commission by February 27, 2019.