Bitcoin Futures to Launch on London Stock Exchange

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  • Bitcoin futures and options are set to launch on the London Stock Exchange
  • GFO-X will host the service, with regulators set to approve the collaboration
  • This is the latest example of the UK becoming more open to Bitcoin

Bitcoin futures and options are set to launch on the London Stock Exchange after LCH Digital Asset Clear, a clearing house group serving prominent global exchanges and various over-the-counter (OTC) markets, gained clearance to do so. LCH will provide clearing services for Bitcoin index futures and options contracts traded on GFO-X, the UK’s first regulated and centrally cleared trading venue dedicated to digital asset derivatives. The move marks another step towards the acceptance of Bitcoin in the UK, which has been gaining ground over the past 12 months.

LSE Expanding to Cater for Digital Assets

The Bitcoin futures and options contracts will be cleared by LCH SA, the clearing house arm of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which will carry out the task through a newly established segregated clearing service called LCH Digital Asset Clear. This process is subject to regulatory approval, but this is thought to be a formality.

The contracts will originate from GFO-X and will be cash-settled through LCH Digital Asset Clear, using metrics from the GFO-X/Coin Metrics Bitcoin Reference Rate (GCBRR). The fact that this process will likely be approved by the U.K.’s financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a departure from the position that the regulator has taken in previous years over Bitcoin and crypto.

UK Takes Another Step Forward

Frank Soussan, Head of LCH Digital Asset Clear business, said in a statement that the move was a big moment for the crypto space:

Bitcoin index futures and options are a rapidly growing asset class with increasing interest among institutional market participants seeking access within a regulated environment they are familiar with. Offering centralized clearing for these cash-settled dollar-denominated crypto derivatives contracts on GFO-X is an important development for the market.

The launch of Bitcoin futures in the UK is another example of the growing openness in the country of the crypto sector at a time when other countries are doing their best to outlaw it.