Bitcoin Futures Will Expand ‘Investment Universe’ For World’s Third-Largest Hedge Fund

On November 14, 2017, Man Group CEO Luke Ellis told Reuters that cryptocurrency will become part of the British hedge fund’s “investment universe” if and when bitcoin futures are offered by the CME Group. With $103.5 billion in funds under management, Man Group could make waves with a cryptocurrency strategy and the hedge fund could lead the way for additional Wall Street investment.

“Conceptually digital currencies are an interesting thing,” said Ellis at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit. “There is a big difference between a digital currency and a traditional currency ... Traditional [currencies] are supported by governments who have armies and tax men that can make people follow their rules.” Private digital currencies like bitcoin don’t function within that sort of institutional framework.

“But that doesn’t invalidate digital currencies at all,” added Ellis.

Readers may remember late last month when CME Group president Bryan Durkin announced that the financial market company will begin offering bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017. Today, CME chairman and CEO Terry Duffy doubled down on that announcement, sharing with CNBC that bitcoin futures listings could appears as early as the second week of December.

CME’s proposed bitcoin futures are different from what’s already available on the market through LedgerX. LedgerX lists day-ahead swaps and monthly put and call options for bitcoin (BTC/USD). CME hopes to offer a cash-settled bitcoin future (with a one-day 20 percent fluctuation limit) based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate. More details are available on the CME website.