A senior official with Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) has said that following internal discussions, the financial regulator will not allow for the trading of cryptocurrency futures, at least not for the time being. (According to standard protocol, the official's name was withheld.)
The agency may be wary of allowing higher-risk investment schemes in Japanese markets following the MtGox incident. ETHNews has previously written about the possibility of these types of financial instruments becoming involved in market manipulation.
The FSA is the government body charged with overseeing the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, which would have to be amended to recognize digital assets as financial products in order for related derivatives to be traded legally on Japanese exchanges. According to the official, the agency may revisit the question at a future date.
Shozo Ohta, the CEO of Tokyo Financial Exchange Inc., pledged on December 1, 2017, to list cryptocurrency futures "as quickly as possible" if and when the act was amended to allow for such a move.
The FSA's authority is not strictly limited to traditional exchanges. Virtual currency exchanges are also required to receive approval from the agency in order to operate.
In the US, the Chicago Merchantile Exchange and Chicago Board Options Exchange have already begun listing bitcoin futures.