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Bitcoin Futures Trading Begins On CME Group

CME Bitcoin 121817

Bitcoin futures started trading on the world's largest futures exchange, CME Group Sunday, a week after the launch of the very first bitcoin futures on CBOE.

CME's own bitcoin futures contract started trading under the ticker "BTC", with the sale price for its January 2018 contracts opening at $20,650.

But, after a positive start, and reaching as much as $20,865, it saw a sell-off with the price declining to $18,424 as investors turned cautious. In contrast, a 19 percent surge was recorded in CBOE on their first day of trading.

With futures contracts, investors can bet on whether something's price will rise or fall. For many, the launch of bitcoin futures is a major step in the digital currency's path toward legitimacy.

As per CME data, more than 200 January 2018 contracts were bought during the first hour. The reference price, from which price limits are set, is $19,600 for the February contract, $19,700 for March, and $19,900 for June.

CME's site remained stable after the open in contrast to CBOE's website, which had crashed due to significant traffic on the launch day. On the first day, the CBOE's Futures Exchange traded nearly 4,000 contracts during the full session. The bitcoin futures contract at the CBOE are traded under the ticker XBT.

It was on December 1 that CME announced its plan to launch bitcoin futures on December 18th, while Cboe Global Markets said it was launching its own futures contract on December 10, a week before CME.

Cboe contract represents one bitcoin, where as a CME contract represents five bitcoins. The CBOE also settles its futures against a daily price auction from Gemini. Meanwhile, the CME uses its own bitcoin reference rate that tracks several cryptocurrency exchanges.

As per reports, Nasdaq and Cantor Fitzgerald are also planning their own bitcoin derivatives contracts.

It was in 2008 that Bitcoin was set up by an individual or group calling itself Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was the first digital currency to successfully use cryptography to keep transactions secure and hidden.

In less than ten years, the surging investor interest has boosted its price unimaginably. Bitcoin price skyrocketed by more than 1,600 percent this year alone. In March this year, the price was below $2000.

At CoinDesk, Bitcoin is now priced at $18,931.29, down 0.81%.

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