Bitcoin Futures Arrives
Bitcoin Futures Trading received approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission at the start of December, meaning it would only be a short wait before it finally launched. Its impending launch was so highly anticipated that when it finally happened on Sunday, December 10, it reportedly rocketed past $18,000.
If that wasn't enough of an indicator, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)'s website was unavailable on multiple occasion due to the overwhelming amount of web traffic it received, with the company taking to Twitter to explain some "may find that it is performing slower than usual." Trading was also halted twice due to price swings.
CNBC quoted Tom Lehrkinder, senior analyst at consulting firm Tabb Group, as saying the halts are "not surprising based on the volatility of the underlying [asset]. The futures are behaving as expected and designed."
Nearly 672 January contracts were sold shortly after Bitcoin Futures launched, and quickly rose to over 3,000 contracts sold by Monday afternoon. As reported by CoinDesk, the first contract is expected to expire on January 17, with others set to expire in March. As for the launch itself, CoinDesk notes that it's confusing yet exciting nature is somewhat appropriate, given the cryptocurrency's notorious volatility.
CBOE wasn't the only company to announce plans for Bitcoin Futures, however, as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Cantor Exchange also received approval from the trading commission and have plans to support trading. CME's product is set to launch on December 18, and it'll be interesting to see how traders react to its launch, as well as how it affects Bitcoin.
With CBOE's launch, Bitcoin rose past $15,000 — as of the time of writing, it now sits above $17,000. Bitcoin was already experiencing significant growth prior to Bitcoin Futures, but its possible CME's plans will prompt yet another surge. It won't be a long wait to see what transpires, but it's sure to be noteworthy either way.