Bitcoin futures start trading, get overwhelming demands

Bitcoin futures start trading, get overwhelming demands

The price of a bitcoin has soared since beginning the year below $1,000, hitting a peak of more than $16,858 December 7 on the bitcoin exchange Coindesk.

The CBOE futures don't involve actual bitcoin.

And the trading of its futures has predictably come under similar skepticism from doubters, who worry that the new market could be exposed to hacks, technical snafus or manipulation schemes.

The CBOE and CME launches were made possible following approval by the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission at the start of the month.

Therefore, investors are now able to bet on whether Bitcoin prices will rise or fall. At launch, CBOE tweeted to warn that its website was running slowly and could be temporarily unavailable.

Bitcoin futures expiring in January, 2018 opened at US$15,000 and climbed to US$16,660 within six minutes of trading.

Futures are a type of derivative contract that allows trading based on movements in Bitcoin prices, without requiring ownership of the currency itself.

The futures signal greater mainstream acceptance of bitcoin but also open up bitcoin to additional market forces.

There have been other attempts to bring bitcoin investing into the mainstream. Such volatility could trigger trading limits in the futures, though many investors speculate the contracts will improve price discovery.

Trading in the first-ever bitcoin futures began at 5 p.m. central time. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin "a fraud".

The digital currency's value is now up 1,600% in the year to date, beginning the year below $1,000 (£748).

They'll be watching for the wild swings that have become a hallmark of bitcoin trading in recent months, with four moves of at least 10 percent in the past two weeks alone. The cryptocurrency's price reached a high of more than $18,200 on December 8 before retracting to a low of $13,349 on Sunday. They are basically lines of computer code that are digitally signed each time they are traded.



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