BitMEX is kicking the tires on options; launch could come in 12 months

BitMEX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange operators, is looking to expand into new derivatives products tied to the nascent market, its CEO said on an industry podcast. 

Arthur Hayes, a former Citigroup trader, said the firm — which is known for its perpetual futures tied to bitcoin — is kicking the tires on options, a move that could put it up against rival Deribit. "We hope to possibly have our own options platform in maybe 12 to 18 months," Hayes said during an appearance on Venture Coinist Podcast.

"We have somebody working with some university professors on a complicated new way of doing this," Hayes said. Options, like futures, provide a way for investors to hedge their positions in an underlying asset. Specifically, an option provides a trader the right to purchase a certain amount of an asset at a set price in the future.