Crypto exchange platform ErisX is bringing Ether (ETH) futures trading to the United States, becoming the second cryptocurrency derivatives product on offer in the country. The announcement came only a few days after the Chicago-based, TD Ameritrade-backed ErisX obtained a digital currency license from financial regulators in New York.
Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading debuted back in 2017 with both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange launching cash-settled BTC futures trading. CBOE has since shuttered its Bitcoin futures contracts trading service.
The news comes after a year of speculation about a possible debut of ETH futures in the U.S. market with some of the arguments surrounding the possible launch hinged on the regulatory classification of Ethereum — whether Ether tokens should be deemed a commodity or a security.
A high-ranking official from the Securities and Exchange Commission has in the past characterized Ether as not a security. Indeed, Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Heath Tarbert predicted that ETH futures could hit the U.S. market by 2020 — a prediction that became true with the ErisX announcement.
Details of the offering
The ErisX Ether futures contract is a physically delivered futures contract product based on the ETH/USD trading pair. According to a company blog post announcing the launch, the expiration schedule for the ETH futures trading is both monthly and quarterly.
Being physically-settled, the ErisX ETH futures trading will see an actual exchange of the underlying Ether tokens at the expiration of the contracts. The newly introduced Ether futures will also run alongside the platform’s ETH spot trading market, potentially ensuring transparency in price discovery, as well as efficient collateralization of trades. In an email to Cointelegraph, Thomas Chippas, the CEO of ErisX, explained the reason for opting for physical delivery as against cash-settled futures, stating: