LedgerX admitted Thursday it has not launched bitcoin futures, as the firm had previously claimed, after the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said it had not approved the exchange to do so. The company previously told CoinDesk it was planning to launch the product on Wednesday.
LedgerX would have been the first venue in the U.S. to offer physically-settled bitcoin futures, which are contracts that pay out in the underlying cryptocurrency rather than in cash. “Not only are they delivered physically in the sense that our customers can get bitcoin after the futures expires, but also they can deposit bitcoin to trade in the first place,” LedgerX CEO Paul Chou told CoinDesk on Monday. But on Thursday morning, the day after CoinDesk’s initial story ran, CFTC chief communications officer Michael Short said in an emailed statement: “LedgerX has not yet been approved by the Commission.” Indeed, a look at LedgerX’s data page shows only options and swaps trades that took place on Wednesday, but no futures. When contacted subsequently by CoinDesk, LedgerX chief operating and risk officer Juthica Chou acknowledged that the company was not trading futures contracts.