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Coinbase to launch Dogecoin futures by April

When launched, the product will be the first CFTC-regulated futures contract for Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

A Shiba Inu dog playing at a park outside of the corporate headquarters of a crypto exchange.

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Coinbase Derivatives, the derivatives arm of US-based crypto exchange Coinbase, has announced plans to launch cash-settled futures contract products for Dogecoin (DOGE), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as early as April 1, citing Dogecoin’s “enduring popularity” and its rise from a meme to a staple in the cryptocurrency industry.

The filing for these new futures contracts was submitted to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on March 7. Coinbase Derivatives outlined its intention to list the futures contracts on its platform, potentially before receiving official approval from the CFTC. As an institutional platform, Coinbase Derivatives says that it plans to invoke the “self-certification” method, allowing it to launch the products as long as they adhere to the regulatory guidelines set by the Commission.

“Coinbase Derivatives [] hereby submits for self-certification its initial listing of the Dogecoin Futures contract to be offered for trading on the Exchange on or after April 1, 2024,” the letter on the Dogecoin futures product stated.

Coinbase justified its decision to list Dogecoin futures by asserting that the memecoin has transcended its origins as a joke and has become a foundational element of the crypto industry. The exchange noted that “Dogecoin’s enduring popularity and the active community support suggest that it has transcended its origins as a meme to become a staple of the cryptocurrency world.”

Following the announcement, the price of DOGE surged by 17% and was trading at $0.15 at the time of writing. Per CoinGecko analytics, the token is now priced at $0.163, an 8.1% increase over the past 24 hours.

The timing of this announcement also coincides with a development from X Payments LLC, the financial ventures arm of X, asocial platform run led Elon Musk. According to the update, X Payments has been granted a new set of licenses to help enable payment features on X. Musk is a supporter of Dogecoin and has hinted on possible integrations with its blockchain since at least late 2022.

Some analysts have speculated that Coinbase’s move to list futures contracts could be a strategic play to force the hand of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bloomberg exchange-traded fund analyst James Seyffart suggested in a March 20 post on X that the filings might be an attempt to prevent the SEC from classifying any crypto assets based on the same proof-of-work consensus mechanism as Bitcoin as “securities.”

Coinbase’s foray into crypto derivatives trading began in 2022 when the exchange acquired the CFTC-regulated FairX derivatives exchange. At the time, Coinbase stated its intention to “make the derivatives market more approachable for our millions of retail customers.”

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