The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has given Bitnomial approval to offer Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts. This puts Bitnomial into an elite club of just a handful of exchanges which have been granted CFTC approval to offer Bitcoin Futures or Options. This includes the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), Bakkt, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe), ErisX, and LedgerX.
Most people probably have not heard of Bitnomial, since it has not even launched yet. In December Bitnomial raised $7.5 million from 12 different investors, and only now is Bitnomial opening up for user signups. User acceptance testing will begin on April 27, and it is unknown exactly when trading will begin, although it will probably be relatively soon now that Bitnomial has received CFTC approval.
What makes Bitnomial unique is that they will supposedly be focusing on physical settlement only. Bakkt offers both physical and fiat settlement, but almost all settlement on Bakkt has ended up being in fiat despite the fanfare that Bakkt would make a difference in the market by offering physical settlement.
All of this being said, it remains to be seen if Bitnomial will really focus on physical settlement. Bakkt said the same thing before they launched, and it didn’t come to fruition.
Also, it takes time for Bitcoin Futures or Options exchanges to build momentum. The trading volume on Bitnomial will likely build slowly, and it remains to be seen if Bitnomial will ever have a significant influence on the crypto market.
On the bright side, it is a positive sign that more Bitcoin Futures and Options exchanges are being approved by the CFTC. It creates a more diverse and active environment for institutional investors to invest into Bitcoin (BTC).