LedgerX May Not Have Launched Physically-Settled Bitcoin Futures Yesterday

LedgerX announced yesterday that it had begun offering the world’s first physically-settled bitcoin futures contract. As it turns out, that might not be the case.

The CFTC issued a statement to online publication Coindesk clarifying that LedgerX had “not yet been approved by the Commission” for physically-settled bitcoin futures.

Another publication The Block further followed up with investigations on its own. There is no record of the startup’s rule filings either with the CFTC or on its own website. Public market data relating to trading volumes for the new product is also absent from LedgerX’s website.

The Block also noted that the startup deleted a tweet announcing launch of its futures trading platform and replaced it with another one, announcing the launch of a Designated Contracts Marketplace (DCM). The CFTC approved a DCM license for LedgerX earlier this year.

John Lothian News (JLN), a news publication for derivatives professionals, also chimed in. “…maybe the news on Wednesday was that LedgerX had launched swaps trading on its contract market platform. They would be the first deliverable swaps contracts traded on a futures market, and that would be news,” the publication wrote. But LedgerX’s website does not provide any indication of the fact.

JLN also took exception to LedgerX CEO Paul Chou’s assertion in yesterday’s announcement that the futures contracts were “bitcoin-in, bitcoin-out”. “The guide to the LedgerX DCM platform, “Omni,” on the website indicates that you do need fiat currency to pay premiums, which are quoted in dollars after all,” Thom Thompson, contributing editor at JLN wrote. LedgerX claims that retail traders and investors can use the Omni platform for futures trading.