Chairman’s Letter – November 2017

“Money, Money, Money” —–

                   ABBA, recorded and released 1976

Okay –I admit it. I’ve been eagerly waiting for the right time to mention ABBA for any reason in the Chairman’s Letter. Their 1976 release of “Money, Money, Money” was the second big hit for this Swedish pop group, following on the heels of “Dancing Queen.” Is it a stretch from money, money, money to Bitcoin and other forms of digital currency? Maybe.

In the past week we have seen that the major futures exchanges believe in the development of cryptocurrency trading. Chris Concannon, COO and president of CBOE Global  Markets is quoted by Reuters: ”…we do envision (our bitcoin) ETF coming to market once the regulated futures market is built…”  Just days before, CME Group announced it would launch the Bitcoin futures contract in the fourth quarter of this year. Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman & CEO said “Given increasing client interest in evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a Bitcoin futures contract.” He added, “CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities.”

While there is no regulatory certainty as yet, the CFTC has determined through several enforcement cases, that Bitcoin is a commodity, and further, that trading Bitcoin is trading in a commodity interest. Leo Melamed, Chairman Emeritus of CME Group and well-known industry icon, has said Bitcoin is likely to become a new asset class similar to gold or stocks which he expects will attract major institutional investors as well as speculators.

NIBA held a session focused on cryptocurrencies at our September member meeting. Moderated by Matt Kluchenek, of Baker & McKenzie, NIBA’s legal advisors, that session covered what Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are, the state of its regulation and the possible benefits for IB/CTA’s customers, among other issues. Sessions from September’s meeting are posted on NIBA’s website.

And, speaking of money…did you leave $150 on the table? You did if you haven’t claimed your listing on the NIBA Broker Directory. Annual dues for IBs/CTAs have been waived as part of NIBA’s Anniversary Celebration. Dues are normally $150 per year. The benefits include entrance to all member meetings and the electronic newsletter, as well as a listing for your firm in the online broker directory. By simply claiming your listing, you’ll be able to personalize the listing and access all the postings behind the member portal, including the sessions recorded at the September meeting.

You can claim your listing for free by visiting the NIBA website. If you need some help, just contact Ryan Griffeth, [email protected] or Adam Aronoff, [email protected]. The free membership offers expires September 2018, so please take a few minutes today to visit www.theniba.com. Don’t leave your money, money, money on the table!

Best regards, Melinda

Melinda Schramm, Founder & Chairman

[email protected]