Bank of America reportedly begins clearing Bitcoin futures

    21 Jul 2021

    One of America’s largest banking establishments, the Bank of America (BofA), has launched a new service enabling to trade of Bitcoin futures, according to Coindesk’s anonymous sources. Some clients reportedly are in the setup process, while some are already live.

    As two anonymous sources reported Friday, the bank is clearing cash-settled Bitcoin futures, a type of contract that settles in US dollars rather than Bitcoin itself. One of the sources even noticed that some customers may have already started interacting with the cryptocurrency through BofA’s platform, which will use CME futures.

    Support of Bitcoin futures is not BofA’s first experiment in the crypto market. This news comes a week after another report saying that the bank launched a new research team, led by Alkesh Shah, dedicated to studying the crypto sector.

    Remarkably that the bank was among the most vocal critiques of cryptocurrency recently. Early this year, the bank published a statement in which it called Bitcoin “too volatile and impractical.” Also, a few years back, BofA blocked clients from trading and operating with any crypto-related investment options.

    The latest news indicates that Wall Street is preparing for the Bitcoin market. As previously reported, Goldman Sachs relaunched its own cryptocurrency trading operation, offering clients exposure to Bitcoin futures through trading partners like Galaxy Digital. Goldman and Morgan Stanley have also announced initiatives that would offer Bitcoin-tied products to some of their private wealth clients.

    CME Bitcoin futures launched in 2017. This May, the CME launched its “Micro Bitcoin” futures products during Bitcoin’s price rally. CME took the top on the list of the biggest Bitcoin futures trading platforms this year, while institutional participation continued to rise.

    According to Arcane Research, the total open interest in the Bitcoin futures market is sitting at $11.3 billion, down 59% from its April 13 peak of $27.3 billion.

    Shortly after CoinDesk’s report regarding the BofA, the price of Bitcoin surged by $1,000 to $32,000 from its intraday low of $31,000.


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