What happened?

Cboe Global Markets Inc. informed traders that it “does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading”. It means that when the last bitcoin futures contract expires in June, there will be no more.

Why is it important?

In general

The events illustrate an already established trend: the interest in cryptocurrency has long since subsided. The score for “bitcoin” has shrunk in Google Trends from 75 to 50 over the past 90 days, and we don’t hear the words “crypto” and “mining” in every diner anymore. If there were large trading volumes in cryptocurrency derivatives, Cboe wouldn’t make such a move.

For investors

When Cboe announced the launch of bitcoin futures in December 2017, it propelled the cryptocurrency price from about $11,000 to almost $20,000. However, that was a swan song for bitcoin because after that the digital asset survived an epic selloff that left it trading between $3,200 and $4,400 during the last 4 months. Now we get the news that the first US exchange to introduce bitcoin futures will stop listing that product.

Bitcoin’s delisting is perceived as a sign that the effort to institutionalize the cryptocurrency has made a step back. Bitcoin futures are also currently available for trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The demand for the product was higher at CME due to the special incentives it offered last year. These offers are over from February, so it’s possible that CME will follow the example of Cboe.

It’s necessary to understand, however, that the direct impact of the news on bitcoin price can be quite limited. Bitcoin futures at Cboe are cash-settled: they represent merely a bet on the future price and don’t involve the actual buying or selling of the underlying asset. Other firms, Bakkt and ErisX, plan to offer physically settled bitcoin futures contracts this year. So, to make a conclusion, although the news about Cboe certainly doesn’t add appeal to bitcoin, that’s definitely not a sign of an Armageddon.

For traders

BTC/USD rose above $4,000 in the middle of March but lacked motion during the last several trading days. An advance above $4,148 will open the way up to a major resistance line at $4,220. Below $4,000 the next support level is at $3,820.

Bitcoin/US dollar, daily chart