Skip to main content

NYSE Chief Does Not Want To Antagonize The Biterati

Launching a bitcoin futures contract might seem like a sop to the blockchain gang, but might actually be a plot to destroy our utopian digital currency future.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
TomasEE [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

TomasEE [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Starting next week, you won’t have to trust your ballooning non-fiat imaginary wealth to some shady and apparently easily-hacked immaterial wallet, when the Chicago Board Options Exchange launches the first U.S. bitcoin futures contract just ahead of its crosstown rivals at the CME Group. Amidst the mad race to win the dubious plaudit, you may have noticed the conspicuous absence of the symbolic heart of American capitalism, the New York Stock Exchange, or at least its owner, Intercontinental Exchange.

Why, you may ask. Does the Big Board think itself too good for the people’s digital money? Is it taking a stand against the almost unspeakable waste involved in mining fake things? Is ICE CEO Jeffrey Sprecher, in spite of his firm’s investment in Coinbase, one of those ivory tower types droning on about tulip manias past?

No, Bitiots! Hear brother Sprecher out! The CBOE and CME may seem to be your allies now, offering a patina of legitimacy to your beloved intangible would-be means of exchange. But they are in fact tools of the fat-cat naysayers and skeptics, who will use their nefarious new tools to destroy your monetary paradise before it can bring peace and happiness to all the world!

Mr. Sprecher said the bitcoin market was currently dominated by buyers, not sellers, and it was unclear who would short bitcoin when given the chance. Bitcoin sellers, including “algorithmic guys,” could seize upon the launch of futures to exit big bitcoin positions, the ICE CEO said.

That could lead to blowback against futures exchanges, he added. “I look at that and just say, is that going to work out well for me as a venue?” Mr. Sprecher said.

NYSE’s Owner Resists Rushing Into Bitcoin [WSJ]
CBOE beats CME to bitcoin futures launch with December 10 start [Reuters]
Bitcoin breaks above $12,000 for the first time [CNBC]


Maybe E*Trade Should Stop Giving Four-Year Contracts To Its CEOs

Like the four who held the job before him since its, er, difficulties began five-and-a-half years ago, Steve Freiberg did not do a particularly good job running E*Trade. But he's been compensated handsomely for facing the wrath of an angry Ken Griffin before getting a pink slip in August.

Derivative Of Derided Derivatives In The Works

So credit-default swaps have a pretty bad rap in the wake of that whole financial crisis. And people apparently aren't interested in trading things that some parts of the general public (otherwise known retail investors) blame for the aforementioned unpleasantness without actually understanding anything about CDS. The IntercontinentalExchange has an idea to change all of that:


Coinbase To Unite Two Scorned Corners Of The Financial Market

Can’t trade your cryptos fast enough? Just co-locate your servers at the giant bitcoin exchange.

Getty Images

Maria Bartiromo Marks Pioneering Presence On NYSE Floor With Celebratory Absence

Whatever reopening phase the Big Board is up to does not include celebrity bell-ringers.

(Getty Images)

Winklevii Doing Everything They Can To Suck The Fun Out Of Bitcoins

Do your metaphorical manipulation of your metaphorical currencies on another metaphorical exchange.