Argentina welcomed its first Bitcoin (BTC) futures contract on July 13, just three months after the country’s securities watchdog approved the underlying index as part of a strategic innovation agenda.
According to Matba Rofex, the trading platform behind the investment vehicle, it is the first Bitcoin futures contract in Latin America. In a futures contract, buyers bet on the future price of a commodity or other asset, such as Bitcoin. Under the contract, buyers and sellers are obligated to purchase and sell the asset at a predetermined future date.
Argentina’s securities regulator, the Comisión Nacional de Valores (CNV), approved the Bitcoin futures index in April as part of an innovative agenda to encourage public-private collaboration for new financial products.
The Bitcoin futures contract will be based on the price of BTC quoted by several market participants providing BTC/ARS trading pairs. All trades will be settled with Argentine pesos, and traders are required to make deposits through bank transfers.
According to local media reports, the product will initially be available only to institutional investors. There’s no clear timeline for when retail investors can trade Bitcoin futures contracts in the country. With the futures index, qualified investors can gain BTC exposure in a transparent, regulated environment.
Argentinians have turned to Bitcoin to keep pace with hyperinflation in the country. Argentina’s annual inflation rate soared 114% in May from a 108% jump in April 2023, hitting the highest level since 1991, according to Trading Economics.
Argentina annual inflation rate. Source: Trading Economics.
Another Bitcoin futures contract should be soon available in the region, as regulators in Brazil are evaluating a similar investment vehicle backed by the local stock exchange B3. Initially scheduled to debut on June 30, the crypto futures contract is now expected to go live on September 30. This is the second time the product release has been delayed.
Bitcoin futures premiums reached its highest level in 18 months on July 4, jumping 3.2% from the previous week. With the surge in BTC derivatives demand, traders question whether the market is experiencing “excessive excitement” or is returning to normal after a prolonged bear market, Cointelegraph reported.
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