Argentina, one of the biggest Bitcoin players wishes to maintain its stronghold in the crypto plethora in days to come. Mercado de Termino de Rosario, popularly known as Rofex, is one of the biggest Argentinian futures mark offering a bevy of services to investors interested in digital currencies. Conversations regarding the same started six months back and preliminary drafting has also been completed pertaining to areas of offering custody services to the digital token along with possibility of bitcoins in being used as collateral by clients in futures trading.
Diego Fernández, the head of Rofex recently told Bloomberg News that in spite of the clients approach being “still in a laboratory stage, our idea is to make an announcement before the end of the year.” He also added that in 2018, a custody service of “accepting bitcoins as a guarantee of futures contracts,” could be underway.
Also Read: Bitcoin Adoption Increasing in Argentina
The growing interest of Rofex comes amidst a massive crypto boom with the market capitalisation of the sector crossing $190 billion starting from $12 billion at the year’s beginning. Value of Bitcoin has pumped up by 630% in this year and cryptocurrency developers worldwide have followed suit with creation of smaller crypto forms to replicate the success story of Bitcoins.
Following the announcement made by CME Group Inc., the world’s largest exchange traded platform of launching bitcoin futures within year end, the Bitcoin price skyrocketed to $7000 plus figures on Thursday. This decision comes as a stark contrast to that taken up by Asian nations such as South Korea and China who imposed a complete ban on all cryptocurrency activities by terming the same as illegal.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange made an announcement of exploring bitcoin derivative options in August whereas the Commodity Futures Trading Commission registered LedgerX, a cryptocurrency trading platform as the foremost federally regulated clearinghouse and cryptocurrency derivatives exchange in July.
History reveals that Bitcoin has earned rapid followers in countries plagued with inflation and currency devaluation since it acts as a safe haven of financial holdings. For example, in Zimbabwe, where the economy is crippling, citizens are trusting more on Bitcoins. Due to high demand, Bitcoin price in Zimbabwe is around $13,000.
Bitcoin is also perceived as lucrative in countries having strict currency controls in place since it helps in international transfers without interruption of the central bank or financial regulators. Bitcoin became hugely popular in Argentina from 2012 with its then president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tightening currency controls and the Argentine peso becoming crippled with inflation.
The Bitcoin trading volume reached 2.1 million pesos in Argentina in the week ending 17th June which was four times the traded volume of same period last year. Bitcoin worth 1.5 million pesos were traded last week. This surging interest in here to stay and thus Rofex might even offer bitcoin futures in days to come following CME’s footsteps although Fernandez feels that the idea is still at its nascent phase.
Fernandez stated that, “I would clearly like to do bitcoins futures, because it’s our core business,” subject to its approval by National Securities Commission, the supreme regulatory body, “and this involves a longer process and the need to build an index or a reference value.”
Bitcoin has also become the lifeline of Zimbabwe following extreme liquidity crunch causing its price to double up following immense demand and limited supply. Harare-based exchange Golix revealed that the price of Bitcoin reached $13900 on Friday.
Argentine securities depository Caja de Valores is examining Blockchain usage opportunities. Alejandro Berney, the company’s president recently stated that, “We are exploring blockchain solutions. In our case the applications will be services, such as voting in assemblies, and not coins.”
Fernandez also pointed out how cryptocurrencies are being used at a rapid scale by mainstream financial institutions for extending their business lines. “Because it’s our core business,” said Fernandez when asked why Rofex decided on providing such service although he feels that the company needs to go through the regulatory scanner before proceeding with the Bitcoin product launch”.
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