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The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has joined hands with Global Futures and Options (GFO-X) to give the U.K. access to regulated trading and clearing in both bitcoin index futures and options.
The U.K. is Changing Its Attitude Towards Crypto
The U.K. has had a very up-and-down history with bitcoin and digital currencies. Not long ago, the country’s financial watchdog (known as the FCA) announced that all bitcoin ATMs would be banned from the region. The agency cited the use of bitcoin ATMs in fraud as the reason for the ban, suggesting investors could not be protected if they continued to utilize these machines.
But the U.K. is beginning to change its attitude towards the world of digital assets, recently voicing its desire to serve as a major bitcoin and blockchain hub of the world. This attitude stems from the country’s new prime minister, who has stated he would like the U.K. to serve as the next big center for crypto-based innovation.
In addition, the nation has become one of the first to instill major digital asset regulation, citing the November 2022 fall of FTX as the reason why. The United Kingdom doesn’t want another instance like that, and it’s looking to ensure all crypto traders residing on the island remain safe and sound while trading virtual assets.
In addition to regulated trading and futures, the LSEG is also planning the release of a separate product dubbed Digital Asset Clear, which will enable cash-settled, dollar-denominated digital asset trading on the GFO-X. Once European Union officials give the greenlight on these services, they’re likely to become available during the fourth quarter of this year. GFO-X explained in a statement:
GFO-X is taking the first steps to extracting efficiencies from new technologies within a traditional market structure, with the goal over time of delivering 24/7 trading to global regulated digital asset markets.
Products like this are nothing new given organizations like the CME Group in Chicago have been offering bitcoin futures trading for some time, but it’s nice to know the breadth is expanding and that further organizations are beginning to see the light when it comes to futures options. This will only allow the digital currency arena to grow and become more mainstream and legitimate.
Arnab Sen – chief executive and co-founder of GFO-X – commented in an interview:
Recent market events in the trading of digital assets have highlighted the need for a safe, regulated venue where large financial institutions can trade at scale while keeping their clients’ assets protected.
Working Towards the Greater Good
Frank Soussan – head of Digital Asset Clear – also threw his two cents into the mix with:
We look forward to working with GFO-X and market participants alike to build a liquid, regulated marketplace for these products and contributing to its safe growth and development.
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