Bank of America has begun clearing bitcoin futures


Bank of America has entered the bitcoin futures trading game.

The bank is clearing cash-settled bitcoin futures, a type of contract that settles in US dollars rather than bitcoin itself, according to two sources. CoinDesk first reported the development Friday morning.

In a sense, the news isn't surprising; clearing cash-settled futures on an exchange like CME is similar to the trading of any other cash-settled product. 

Still, the news illustrates that Wall Street is warming up to the bitcoin market. Goldman Sachs relaunched its own cryptocurrency trading operation, offering clients exposure to bitcoin futures through trading partners like Galaxy Digital, as previously reported by CNBC. Goldman and Morgan Stanley have also announced initiatives that would offer bitcoin-tied products to some of their private wealth clients. 

As for BofA, support of bitcoin futures would not be its first foray into the market. As previously reported by The Block, the bank launched a new research team dedicated to covering the crypto market. The new unit is being led by Alkesh Shah, who joined the bank in 2013, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. 

The bitcoin futures market has cooled down in recent months alongside the price of cryptocurrencies. As per The Block's Data Dashboard, aggregate open interest across bitcoin futures markets stands at $11.8 billion, down from a high of around $27.6 billion in April. 

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Aug 11, 2021, 5:18PM UTC