Chicago Options Exchange Getting the Bitcoin Bug

In a conference call updating investors and media on its third quarter (Q3) earnings, Cboe Global Markets, which owns the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and BATS Global Markets, said it’s bullish on cryptocurrencies. It said other exchanges, such as its “competitor across town”, are also believers in cryptos.

Legacy Exchanges Get New Religion, Cryptocurrencies

A 7000 USD price point will change many minds, so will a 120 billion USD market capitalization. Cryptocurrencies, lead by bitcoin, are officially all the rage in investment circles.

In truth, Cboe Global has been more out front than most legacy outfits of its class. It recently inked a deal with Gemini Trust Company, LLC., in hopes of listing bitcoin derivatives, for example.

Chris Concannon, Cboe President and COO

Continuing their pack-leading, Chris Concannon, Cboe Global’s President and COO, struck a very optimistic tone toward cryptocurrencies’ eventual place on legacy exchanges. In a Q3 conference call he explained, “Over time, we do envision (our bitcoin) ETF coming to market”, he said, “once the regulated futures market is built … we‘re encouraged by everyone‘s focus on this space.”

Bullish on Bitcoin + Former SEC Attorney = Mainstreaming on the Way

By “everyone’s focus” he could be referring to CME’s announcement. CME, the world’s largest derivatives exchange, shook the financial sector by saying it was moving forward with a bitcoin futures contract. Such a market was splashed all over media headlines, prompting another run-up in price (at least temporarily). It is widely acknowledges to be the beginning of mainstream legitimacy and acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

Mr. Concannon “is responsible for Cboe’s trading businesses – U.S. and European Equities, U.S. Options, Global Foreign Exchange and Futures – as well as Technology/Operations, Risk and Marketing”, his Cboe bio reads.

“Concannon has more than 20 years of experience as an exchange executive, trading participant and regulator”, including a stint as “a staff attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Market Regulation from 1994 to 1997.”

This bodes well for Cboe’s long-term crypto mainstreaming ambitions.

“Overall, the cryptocurrency space is the space that I think we believe in and certainly our competitor across town believes in as well and I‘m just encouraged by that validation.”

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