Brokerage giant TD Ameritrade is gearing up for bitcoin futures

“I’m not going to be watching football Sunday.”

Instead, JB Mackenzie, a managing director on brokerage TD Ameritrade’s futures and forex trading team, is going to be watching Cboe Global Markets’ launch of bitcoin futures. He told Business Insider the firm is taking a “wait and see” approach, but is ready to potentially dive into the market if the conditions are right.

As such, the necessary risk protocols are in place and the back-office is prepped.

“With every new futures product we want to see how the marketplace comes together,” Mackenzie said. “We want to make sure there are enough market makers, liquidity, and volume.”

Cboe announced Monday its futures market would be ready to go live Sunday at 5 p.m. CT. It will allow investors to bet on the future price of the red-hot coin, which is known for its spine-tingling volatility. On Thursday its price whipsawed up and down, trading at dramatically different prices on the main global exchanges. Still, its eye-popping gains have gripped the attention of Wall Street.

But Mackenzie said bitcoin’s unique nature as a “Wild West” digital gold doesn’t mean it’s getting any special treatment.

“We always take this approach,” he said. “We are going to wait at least a full-cycle to watch how trading goes in Europe and Asia.”

Morgan Stanley wrote it expected TD Ameritrade would be the first brokerage to get on board with bitcoin futures in a note out to clients Thursday.

“We see AMTD as most likely to lead the way, leveraging their leading technology platform and Forex offerings,” the bank said…

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