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Why Bitcoin futures and a shoddy market structure pose problems

Summary:
There’s a popular opinion in cryptoland that the launch of bitcoin futures by the CME in December will trigger an investing rush as institutional investors and hedge funds wade into the market in size. This in turn, the theory goes, will see the price zoom even higher.But here’s the thing. Smart money almost never takes unhedged directional bets.To the contrary, it seeks out risk-free arbitrage opportunities that usually involve spread or basis-based trades that take advantage of market pricing anomalies.Back in 2008, one of the biggest arbitrage opportunities of this sort came in the shape of the disconnect between US TIPs securities and conventional Treasuries, which emerged due to Lehman’s preference for using TIPs as collateral in repo trades. As the investment bank’s liquidity

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There’s a popular opinion in cryptoland that the launch of bitcoin futures by the CME in...

Izabella Kaminska
Izabella Kaminska joined FT Alphaville in October 2008, which was, perhaps, the best time in the world to become a financial blogger. Before that she worked as a producer at CNBC, a natural gas reporter at Platts and an associate editor of BP’s internal magazine. She has also worked as a reporter on English language business papers in Poland and Azerbaijan and was a Reuters graduate trainee in 2004.

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