Eurex, a Germany-based derivatives exchange operated by Deutsche Boerse, is looking to launch futures contracts tied to digital assets. According to a February 21 report from fintech news outlet The Block, the futures contracts will be tied to digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).
Sources familiar with the matter reportedly told The Block that Eurex has already had several meetings with market-making companies where the potential products were discussed.
The news about the exchange’s planned contracts doesn’t come as a surprise – back in December 2017, CNBC reported that Deutsche Boerse was considering introducing digital asset futures. At the time, a spokesperson for the exchange said that they were actively considering futures. They were thinking about enabling private and institutional investors to protect existing investments in Bitcoin, CNBC said.
Less than a year later, Deutsche Boerse established a “DLT, Crypto Assets and New Market Structures” unit to explore the disruptive potential the technology could have for financial market infrastructure. The unit was also tasked with developing new products that the exchange could use to enhance its offerings.
Then, in January 2019, Deutsche Boerse announced that it was “making significant progress” on its new blockchain-based securities lending platform. The platform should launch sometime in the first half of the year, the company’s press release stated, adding that six banks have already joined the project.
As Eurex Clearing currently manages a collateral pool of 49 million euros and clears trades valued at over 12 trillion euro every month, the introduction of cryptocurrency futures contracts could open the industry to large institutional investors.