We are seeing several things happening in the bitcoin industry. One, we are seeing tremendous growth. Two, we are noticing that it has attracted investors from other players in the marketplace. We are seeing continuous growth from retail investors across the world, followed by institutional investors slowly jumping.
Financial institutions across the board are figuring out how they can get involved and partake in the current profits, as well as play a role in the future growth of the industry. There are some who are looking at the cryptocurrency industry and staying on the sidelines, while others are quickly gathering resources and capitalizing now to be able to help lead the way forward, fearing that they may get left behind.
Big players that are stepping into the market are the exchanges, there are those who cater to cryptocurrency trading exclusively, (Coinbase, BitFly, others) and then there are those who are adding crypto as a part of their offerings (CME, Cboe, others). We are seeing another competitor who is seeing opportunity in providing a service to those speculators who believe that bitcoin has the potential to go up, or drastically go down.
For the traditional folk, jumping into bitcoin futures seems like a strong play because they are able to bridge together the present with the future. They can tentatively embrace the future while placing certain conditions that they are used to, monitoring and progressing from there.
This new competitor in the futures market, (a much-awaited market by various groups and parties in the crypto-space), comes from Tokyo, Japan. The company, called Tokyo Financial Exchange, is taking the initial steps to deploy their futures contracts in a timely and regulated fashion.
The Tokyo Financial Exchange stepping into the crypto industry is a big deal due to the fact that this company has been around for a while, and acts as one of the largest exchanges that operate in Japan.
Their Bitcoin futures contracts are set to launch sometime in the first quarter of 2018.
Why are they getting into the market?
They are seeking to do so because they are seeing the growing appetite of their local customers. They want to make sure that they are addressing these needs and adapting to the present. They want to make sure that they can attract new customers while also retaining their current ones.
These futures contracts are interesting because it can go several ways in how it affects the market. Depending on how it is structured, it can increase the price volatility of bitcoin, or it could allow for some sort of stabilization. The other key aspect is that it allows for institutional investors to gain exposure to the virtual currency without having to jump through the all the various legal hurdles that they have to go through currently.
It is certainly interesting to note how the banks and others who have scorned this growing industry have come back to it and have started to get involved simply because the marketplace is demanding it. They have two options: adapt or die.