Chicago-based crypto exchange ErisX has notified its members and participants that it will start trading futures digital currency products in a strangely low-key announcement.
On Dec. 16, ErisX reached out to its members, informing them of its intent to start trading crypto futures tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 17. The notice is strange, considering that it appeared without the fanfare one would expect of the launch of such a major product, leaving doubt only magnified by the history of the exchange, as well as rival LedgerX.
In July, the TD Ameritrade-backed crypto exchange procured a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Laurian Cristea, General Counsel at ErisX, remarked at the time that when crypto futures become available, the exchange will offer a single platform that accommodates both spot and futures trading. ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas added:
“ErisX is unique in that for our digital asset market, we have divided the trading and settlement functions using traditional DCM (exchange) and DCO (clearing) models [...] This reflects the structure that institutional investors expect from other asset classes and will help drive these markets toward greater relevance and accessibility.”
Just a week before ErisX received its license, competitor LedgerX procured its own DCM license when the CFTC approved the application of LedgerX LLC for designation as a contract market.
However, in a controversy between LedgerX and the CFTC it came out that the Commission had not yet approved LedgerX’s physically-settled bitcoin futures product. LedgerX had said on July 31 that its physical futures offering went live on its Omni trading platform, but the CFTC suggested that this could not have occurred.
In September, the controversy continued when LedgerX’s claimed that the agency’s former chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, obstructed the approval of its amended DCO registration because of personal bias against LedgerX CEO Paul Chou.