Argentina Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures While US SEC Postpones Valkyrie Spot Bitcoin ETF Deadline to Early January

Valkyrie Fund CIO says Bitcoin Spot ETF is not coming until the middle of next year as the regulator tries to “get their heads around what exactly is going on with these exchanges.”

Argentina is now considering launching regulated Bitcoin futures.

Local Futures and Options exchange Matba Rofex submitted a proposal to Argentina’s securities regulator to launch cash-settled Bitcoin futures in Argentine pesos. Talks for the same began a few months ago, but the National Securities Commission of Argentina is yet to rule on the matter.

If approved, this will be the first regulated Bitcoin futures to be launched in Argentina though similar products are accessible through unregulated platforms.

The product would not be aimed at the general public but only at “qualified and specialized investors” and “corporations” who are “informed about the product and its volatility.”

It is likely the company would get the approval as a few months back, the President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez had said that he was open to adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.

“I don't want to go too far out on a limb […], but there is no reason to say no,” he said at the time.

Rofex, the biggest futures market in Argentina, is not only eyeing futures for Bitcoin but also considering similar products for other cryptocurrencies if there is demand for them.

What About the Bitcoin Spot ETF?

In the US, meanwhile, the first Bitcoin Futures ETF started trading last month. More than one such product made its debut, with ProShares becoming the fastest fund to amass $1 billion in assets while Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF) attracted $10 million in the first 5 minutes of trading.

While the exchange-traded fund tied to Bitcoin futures contracts listed on the CME has seen the green light, the spot Bitcoin ETF is nowhere close to reality. This week, the US SEC further postponed its decision on the Valkyrie Bitcoin Fund for an additional 60 days, i.e., January 7, 2022.

“The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change and the issues raised in the comment letters that have been submitted in connection therewith,” said the regulator in a statement.

In an interview with CNBC, Valkyrie Funds chief investment officer Steven McClurg said he doesn't see a bitcoin ETF until at least the middle of next year.

“The staff is still trying to get their heads around what exactly is going on with these exchanges. They’re trying to put a little bit more regulatory structure around them before they … move forward with this,” he said.

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