There seems to be a rising demand for cryptocurrency derivatives if the launch of such services is any indication. Popularized by Chicago-based Mercantile Exchange broker (CME) the new niche is now seeing several other notable platforms and service providers join the fray. Binance, Cboe (whose product is now defunct), Huobi and BitMEX. The latest to join the bandwagon is OKEx which has announced the launch of its cryptocurrency futures derivatives as early as November 6th next week.
It has been reported that OKEx’s soon-to-launch product will be settled in the leading stablecoin Tether [USDT] and will be supporting several virtual asset pairs including Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH], Bitcoin Cash [BCH], EOS, Ripple [XRP], Bitcoin SV [BSV] and Tron [TRX]. In addition, the service will support margin trading with leverage ranging from 1 to 100.
The settlement feature is unlike most contacts in the market such as CME’s. In the case of CME’s futures contracts, upon expiration of contracts, the platform pays out in the dollar equivalent of the contract value.
However, there has been a new breed of futures contracts that have cropped up in the recent past heralded by NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange through its digital asset subsidiary Bakkt which launched a bitcoin futures derivative platform last month. Bakkt’s bitcoin futures are settled in the underlying asset which in its case is bitcoin. Bakkt, unlike OKEx which will support only the daily futures contracts, supports both daily and monthly futures contracts.
Since Tether is backed by a reserve in equal value denominated in the US Dollar, it is safe to assume that the new futures contracts will be settled in the dollar currency without the hustle of converting into the fiat equivalent. With that users will be able to enjoy the convenience of having a virtual asset while also avoiding the volatility of having virtual assets. Lennix Lai, OKEx’s financial markets director has hinted to the idea that there will be more stablecoin-based futures contracts in addition to the Tether one.
According to Lai, the OKEx futures contracts will be linear contracts that will allow traders to avoid using the leverage feature if they so wish. This is especially wise for newbie traders who may not be adept at managing their risks.
“Most of the time, users are not willing to hold altcoins as margin, and they also see inverse contracts itself are complicated to understand. We see this linear contract would be an open door to many new retail traders,” he said.