CBOE beats CME to bitcoin futures launch with Dec 10 start

CBOE beats CME to bitcoin futures launch with Dec 10 start

CBOE beats CME to bitcoin futures launch with Dec 10 start

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has been beaten to the punch by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in bitcoin futures trading.

Bitcoin hit a record above US$11,400 last Wednesday, but then lost 20% of its value in the following 24 hours. None of the bad news and adverse comments about bitcoin seemed to matter to the bitcoin bulls and speculators who were intent on pushing the prices higher and during the course of this period, they managed to achieve the coveted target of $10,000 which was a huge psychological mark which numerous investors and traders would have had in their mind some months back.

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"Given the unprecedented interest in bitcoin, it's vital we provide clients the trading tools to help them express their views and hedge their exposure", stated Ed Tilly, CEO of CBOE.

One of the key points about bitcoin futures trading is that there will be no handling of bitcoin at all and the futures will be cash-settled.

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The introduction of futures from both Cboe and CME may entice more professional traders and investors to join the cryptocurrency market by shifting transactions onto regulated exchanges. Market data from bitcoin exchanges Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit, and Kraken will be used to calculate CME's once-a-day Bitcoin Reference Rate (BBR).

Denis Baranov, a principal consultant at technology consultancy DataArt, says some bitcoin exchanges already offer futures, but the support of a major exchange could boost bitcoin's legitimacy.

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Following the launch of these products, many analysts predict that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will grant approval to the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) that invests in bitcoin futures contracts, potentially turning bitcoin into a mainstream financial instrument and portfolio asset. The first bitcoin futures contracts on a regulated USA exchange are set to launch on Sunday. The entry of institutional money is also expected to act as a stabilizing mechanism for the cryptocurrency's recent wild price swings.

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