These tokens don’t have an inherent use case but are issued by a company to raise funds. They don’t give access to a service, but allow users to participate in the growth of the value of the company through, for example, buybacks of the tokens by the issuing company. This is still a very grey area in terms of regulations, and there have been frantic discussions on what exactly differentiates security tokens from utility tokens.
The Ides of June saw a regulatory breakthrough that might prove highly consequential for crypto futures in the US, as the SEC Corporation Finance Director William Hinman had shed some light on Ethereum’s status as perceived by the regulator, suggesting that ‘current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions.’ This statement has energized the industry and prompted Chris Concannon, Cboe’s crypto-savvy president, to speak of futures on ETH as of a settled deal. If Cboe breaks the path with such a product, it’s not difficult to imagine CME catching up quickly, given the firm’s partnership with Crypto Facilities, whose Ethereum derivatives infrastructure is already in place.
“There will be a ramp-up time,” said Ari Paul, chief investment officer of Blocktower Capital Advisors LP. “There just isn’t a rush. The professional traders will mostly be looking to do arbitrage, between the futures and bitcoin itself. I don’t expect massive money flows right away but then I expect gradual buying from people who want passive exposure” without buying bitcoin directly.
For instance, if two parties decide to make a bet on Donald Trump winning the election, historically, this could only be done by either word of honor or by some ad hoc legal contract. For a say, small $100 bet, it would be absolutely a non-starter to pursue legal action in the case that one of the parties decided to renege on the deal in the aftermath of the election. Normally, the reneged-upon party would simply be left in the dust without recourse.
Basecoin is a stable coin (not volatile cryptocurrency) whose money supply algorithmically contracts and expands based on market demand and a decentralized Consumer Price Index. What this means in english is that this token is effectively managed by a robot central bank free from the political interference that real central banks face. We still have not come across a stable coin that can act as an everyday usable cryptocurrency, but doesn’t wind up in fiascos involving the legality of the token (see Tether articles). If the project works as intentioned, it could change modern currency markets. One could reasonably pay wages in basecoin, or use basecoin to more effectively trade digital assets, but the best use case of the basecoin would be for the digital currency to alleviate the inflation madness occurring in countries like Venezuela or Zimbabwe.
Psychologically, if it’s helpful, I think it may be fine to sell off some small portion of your upside if you do realize upside over time, in order to recoup your initially invested principal. I don’t think that this is necessarily the most optimal actual move to make, but do think it likely makes a huge difference psychologically, such that it makes it far easier for you to hold your remaining investment with sangfroid in the case that it ends up cratering sometime in the future.
While futures products still carry unique and often significant risks, they can potentially provide a more regulated and stable environment to provide some exposure to bitcoin as a commodity as well. You should carefully consider whether trading in bitcoin futures is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources, and other relevant circumstances.