NEW YORK (Reuters) – Intercontinental Exchange Inc (N:) has put a lot of thought into the idea of futures contracts on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but has yet to move forward due to the opaque nature of the underlying markets, the New York Stock Exchange owner’s chief executive officer said on Tuesday.
Bitcoin’s price () has surged more than tenfold this year, hitting a record high of $11,850 on Tuesday, amid a chorus of warning that it is a bubble on the verge of bursting.
“We didn’t think it was obvious to rush out a product and be first and settle against an index on a lot of exchanges that are not particularly transparent,” Jeff Sprecher said at a financial services conference hosted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (N:).
ICE rivals Cboe Global Markets Inc (O:) and CME Group Inc (O:) will launch bitcoin futures contracts on Dec. 10 and Dec. 18, respectively, with Cboe also planning an exchange-traded fund based on the red-hot digital asset. Nasdaq Inc has said it will launch bitcoin futures next year.
ICE was an early mover in the crypto space, buying a minority investment in digital currency exchange Coinbase in 2015…