After launching futures contracts tied to bitcoin and ether in recent years, CME Group is looking at whether it can introduce futures based on cryptocurrencies with smaller market caps, including Solana's SOL and Cardano's ADA.
The Chicago-based exchange is "looking at" creating altcoin futures contracts given significant client requests, Payal Shah, CME’s director of equity and cryptocurrency products, said as part of a panel discussion at CryptoCompare’s Digital Asset Summit in London on Wednesday.
Shah, however, stated that launching altcoin futures will depend on sorting out issues related to price indexes and regulation. According to Shah, the CME’s existing bitcoin and ether futures depend on indexes based on price feeds from five exchanges.
“In terms of the other coins outside bitcoin and ether, we need firstly an index or we need the ability to create an index,” she added.
On the subject of regulation, Shah pointed out the current lack of regulatory certainty for altcoins in the United States. “We need to know where to send the paperwork,” Shah stated, referring to the lack of clarity about which US regulatory agency will have jurisdiction over altcoin-related instruments.
Bitcoin and ether are the only cryptos so far deemed to be non-securities by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Meanwhile, the SEC has previously stated that many altcoins are securities.
Since launching bitcoin futures in December 2017, the CME has released options and futures contracts for ether. In March, the CME launched micro bitcoin and ether options.
In April 2021, CME had to deny rumors that it was launching dogecoin futures after reports began circulating on Twitter.