A quantitative analyst claims he was able to buy one bitcoin of Nasdaq listed futures on TD Ameritrade, a broker with $5.5 billion in yearly revenue.
There has been no claim by any other trader that such futures are being offered, but Ameritrade says they do offer bitcoin futures trading to qualified investors with minimum account requirements standing at $25,000.
We are seeking confirmation, but without much success at the time of publishing. Making it unclear whether Ameritrade is now offering Nasdaq bitcoin futures or just CME’s.
The above claim has some weight because late last year Nasdaq said they are to launch bitcoin futures during the first quarter of 2019.
Nasdaq will bring “a regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” to investors said Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy.
Nasdaq and VanEck launched a crypto index last year in preparations for futures and potentially a bitcoin ETF by VanEck.
It is unclear whether these are cash settled futures of physically settled. The former appears more probable, but the latter would be more interesting as it would amount to effectively spot trading while being regulated by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Bakkt is trying to launch such physically settled bitcoin futures, while the first cash settled futures were launched all the way back in December 2017.
Interestingly, Ameritrade is apparently also planning to launch crypto spot trading after entering into a strategic partnership with ErisX. Ameritrade said:
“TD Ameritrade will be working with ErisX to provide a digital solution that will meet our clients’ spot cryptocurrency needs. However, details will not be available until after ErisX has completed its cryptocurrency trading product development.”
ErisX says they’re planning to launch spot crypto trading in the second quarter of 2019 and futures in the second half.
Meaning bitcoin’s infrastructure continues to grow as it starts integrating with the traditional financial system.