Bitcoin Tops $18000 In Debut On Major Bourse

Andrew Cummings
December 11, 2017

The result, so far, is good for Bitcoin: The price is at $16,939 according to CoinMarketCap, up roughly 23% in the last 24 hours.

The digital currency launched on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) futures exchange in Chicago on Sunday night, allowing investors to bet on whether Bitcoin prices will rise or fall.

On the flips side, as the futures at CBOE launch just days after Bitcoin peaked to $20,000 on the Korean markets, consequently, South Korean authorities chose to ban futures trading for now.

According to coindesk which meassures the average value of the cryptocurrency based on the four most popular exchanges, Bitcoin broke the $17,000 mark on Thursday reaching an-all time high as the cryptocurrency continues it's phenomenal surge.

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

The one-month bitcoin contract opened trade at 6 pm local time (2300 GMT) at $15,460, dipped briefly before rising to a high of $18,700 and then slipping again. The exchange said that due to heavy traffic, the site "may be temporarily unavailable".

Futures, which lets investors speculate on the future price of an asset, are often seen as a gauge of the asset's future price.

The Chicago exchange said it has taken precautions to address wild fluctuations: trading will be suspended for two minutes if the price goes up or down 10 percent, for instance.

"I think the excitement will come when the futures market is established".

The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in USA dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs and brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.

The current price for Bitcoin futures is $18,630 for January 17 expiration date and $19,140 for February 14 expiration date.

Market participants said the launch of the futures contract wouldn't necessarily reduce volatility in the cryptocurrency.

The CME Group is expected to launch its futures contract on December 17.

Others, however, caution that risks remain for investors and possibly even the clearing organizations underpinning the trades.

Bitcoin now has a market cap of around $272 Billion.

The launch has so far received a mixed reception from big USA banks and brokerages, though.

Several online brokerages, including Charles Schwab Corp SCHW.N and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp AMTD.O , did not allow trading of the new futures immediately.

Trading in the first-ever bitcoin futures began at 5 p.m. central time.

Of the larger banks, only Goldman Sachs and ABN Amro are serving as intermediaries for the trades. But it said the trading in the futures had not been disrupted.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that has exploded in popularly and volatility this year.

"Hypothetically, volatility over the long run should drop after institutions get involved", Gottlieb said.

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