• Nasdaq, the exchange operator based in New York, is preparing to launch bitcoin futures contracts.
  • Bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, soared to over $11,000 on Wednesday.
  • Bitcoin futures would allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin.

Nasdaq is hopping on the bitcoin bandwagon.

The exchange operator is set to launch a bitcoin futures product next year, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.

Two Chicago-based exchanges, CME and CBOE, have also announced bitcoin futures products, which would allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin. They would also be likely to dampen bitcoin’s spine-tingling volatility and help the cryptocurrency push further into the mainstream.

A person familiar with the matter said the firm is planning to launch the product in either the second or third quarter of 2018. The futures contract would be based on 50 indexes. CME’s product, by way of comparison, is set to be based off of four indexes. The company went with a later launch date because it wanted to give customers enough time to vet the product.

The move appears to be a change of tune for Nasdaq, which has been less bullish on cryptocurrency than other Wall Street firms. In October, Adena Friedman, Nasdaq’s CEO, described initial coin offerings as “bleeding edge.”

She added, “Nasdaq doesn’t tend to get engaged in the bleeding edge.”

Bitcoin has been on a tear since the Thanksgiving holiday, blowing past $10,000 on Tuesday and then $11,000 on Wednesday.

It is up more than 900% this year.

Read more about blockchain, the technology powering bitcoin »


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