Coinbase Wants to Launch Futures Contracts These Crypto Assets on April Fools’ Day



The derivatives arm of the largest American cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, intends to launch futures trading contracts for Dogecoin DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) by April 1, 2024.

According to several letters filed with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) earlier this month, Coinbase Derivatives will launch monthly cash-settled and margin futures contracts for the cryptocurrencies on or after the coming April Fools’ Day.

Futures Trading For DOGE, LTC, And BCH

Per Coinbase’s letters, the firm will list the futures contracts using the self-certification approach under CFTC Regulation 40.2(a). This route allows entities to launch new products without direct CFTC approval; however, they must ensure the offerings adhere to the Commission’s Commodity Exchange Act and rules.

Coinbase Derivatives outlined the contracts’ description, sizes, and structures in the letters, revealing that the settlement methods would leverage a benchmark rate by MarketVector.

The latest development is considered a notable feat for Dogecoin, which began as a joke but has evolved into one of the top-ranking memecoins, rolling in the major leagues with large-cap altcoins.

“Despite its origins as a meme, Dogecoin has achieved substantial market capitalization, making it one of the top cryptocurrencies by market value at various points in time. Dogecoin’s enduring popularity and the active community support suggest that it has transcended its origins as a meme to become a staple of the cryptocurrency world,” Coinbase stated in one of the letters.

Commodities vs. Securities Futures

Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart called Coinbase’s move interesting. He wondered if the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would object to the products being classified as commodities futures instead of securities futures.

Seyffart explained that since Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash are based off of Bitcoin, which the SEC has classified as a commodity, claiming the new contracts are securities would be difficult, especially after the agency’s spot BTC exchange-traded funds approvals. He added that the nature of DOGE, LTC, and BCH may be why Coinbase chose them.

“Honestly, if the SEC would just engage with the industry on making some rules about this stuff, we wouldn’t have moves like this. But at the same time — my job would be way less interesting,” Seyffart added.

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