Proposed bitcoin futures contracts could give pension funds and other asset owners a way to get a piece of the booming action in cryptocurrencies.
CME Group Inc. on Oct. 31 announced it would launch a bitcoin futures contract in the fourth quarter, following an Aug. 2 announcement by Cboe Exchange Inc. that it planned to create a similar contract. Both proposals require approval of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Bitcoin futures, sources said, could become the underlying element of exchange-traded products, which would give institutional investors a way to tap into the enormous growth in the largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization without having to acquire or trade it directly. It also mitigates concern among investors as to how regulators view bitcoin and cryptocurrency — as a commodity, in the case of a futures contract; a security, in the case of a bitcoin ETP; or a currency, a form of cash used for…