A petition to launch regulated Bitcoin futures and options in Argentine pesos has been submitted by Matba Rofex, Argentina’s largest futures market, to the National Securities Commission (CNV).
Matba Rofex is the most prominent market for futures and options in Argentina. They currently have a BTC MtR index expressed in Argentinian Pesos (ARS) calculated every 1 minute. They have also shown interest in the direct investments of crypto-assets and startups.
This petition was just disclosed to the public by the members of Matba Rofex, but the deputy general manager of financial markets, Ismael Caram, further revealed that they had already asked for the authorization past December, and said they understand the permit would not come as fast as those given to other products since Bitcoin futures are still unknown territory to them.
The company would target “qualified and specialized investors” and well-informed corporates about “the product and its volatility” instead of the general market. They expressed that they intend to keep the general market in mind, but the decision comes from the need to comply with Argentina’s security regulators.
Although bitcoin futures and options are already offered by many international exchanges, none are officially regulated by the official regulators or the Central Bank in Latin America.
The deputy stated on a call with Bloomberg:
We want to attract those clients from the regulated market that cannot operate on unregulated exchanges, (…) We perceive an incipient but continuous demand from clients, who want to add exposure in crypto assets.
Regulations by the CNV would allow access to the Bitcoin futures and options market for institutional investors that otherwise face many regulations when intending to place holdings in the other platforms available worldwide. The company further explained to a local news portal:
Although the Bitcoin Index cannot be traded today, Matba Rofex has presented a Futures and Options project on this index to the CNV and hopes that it can be a reference for other capital market products, such as Common Investment Funds or ETF. These are novel products whose approval may be delayed. Matba Rofex’s initiatives also include direct investment in crypto assets and in startups related to this new industry,
Is The Bitcoin Futures Regulation Possible?
In the general Argentinian cryptocurrency panorama, there is a lot of talk around whether Argentina could follow Salvador’s steps into adopting Bitcoin as a legal coin.
With a high inflation rate and a system that does not allow Argentinians to easily sell and purchase dollars to the better price in the market, many of them are adopting cryptocurrencies as a way to have savings and investments.
Earlier, Argentina’s president had been rather unclear about the government’s views when stating that he believes adopting cryptocurrencies could help deal with the hyperinflation, but recognized his poor knowledge on the subject. This event has led to many comments and speculation.
There is a current discussion around a possible bill that intends to officially offer wages in Bitcoin and other digital coins as an alternative to official currency. The deputy José Luis Ramón stated that this project
is born from the need of promoting a larger autonomy and governance of the salary, without the implications of losing rights or being exposed to abuse-related situations in the work place.
Matba Roflex’s petition comes in a time where cryptocurrencies are a major interest for the Argentinian government and economists. However, the general expectations for these regulations to be accepted soon are low, since the CNV has not been the most enthusiastic party regarding digital coins.
Spokespersons from the CNV told the local news portal Infobae:
The CNV has held meetings with Rofex on this issue, and has made it clear that although it will evaluate the product, today it is not a priority on its agenda, and it also depends on the opinion of other areas of the state such as the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic,
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