Futures For All
As the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, with $103.5 billion under their control, Man Group carry some clout. Last year the London-based firm of 1,250 employees reported revenue of $827 million. If the active management business were to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon, it would be another major boost for the cryptocurrency.
Speaking to Reuters on Tuesday, Man Group’s CEO Luke Ellis said:
Conceptually digital currencies are an interesting thing. It’s not part of our investment universe today – it could be. If there is a CME future on bitcoin, it would be.
Given that CME futures aren’t an ‘if’ but a ‘when’, with CEO Terry Duffy having confirmed the approximate launch date just days ago, Ellis may have been unaware of the latest developments. It seems unlikely that Man Group would be capable of launching their own futures trading contracts at such short notice. Nevertheless, the intent is clearly there, signaling that institutional investors are looking very closely at bitcoin.
All Eyes On Bitcoin
In both Britain and the U.S., where Goldman Sachs have also been eyeing proceedings keenly, bitcoin has been the talk of the town. For traders eager to speculate on the price of bitcoin without getting their hands dirty, so to speak, futures contracts are ideal.
In talking with Reuters, Man Group boss Luke Ellis showed himself to have a good understanding of the cryptocurrency space. “There is a big difference between a digital currency and a traditional currency…Traditional ones are supported by governments who have armies and tax men that can make people follow their rules, and digital ones don’t,” he said. “But that doesn’t invalidate digital currencies at all.”
As a company which started life in 1783 as a sugar cooperage and brokerage, Man Group has come a long way. Founder James Man, whose first contract was to supply the Royal Navy with rum, would be astonished to see the trajectory his humble firm has taken. Having once conquered the high seas, the next target in their sights looks like it might be bitcoin.