Published: Mon, December 11, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Bitcoin futures trading starts on CBOE exchange in Chicago

Bitcoin futures trading starts on CBOE exchange in Chicago

They're securities that will track the price of bitcoin on Gemini, one of the larger bitcoin exchanges.

The front-month bitcoin futures contract on the Chicago-based CBOE Futures Exchange surged past $17,000 on Monday, the first day of trading.

The first-ever bitcoin futures rose in early trading.

Nick Colas, of Data Trek research, said the futures listings gave Bitcoin "legitimacy - it recognises that it's an asset you can trade".

Bitcoin has begun trading on a major exchange for the first time in what is being regarded as a step towards legitimising the digital currency.

The Cboe and CME launches were made possible following approval by the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

"The initial reaction was beyond expectations with the futures contract climbing more than 20% and triggering two trading halts".

The Cboe website was down at the time of the debut on Sunday. The entrance of regulated exchanges enables professional investors who have been unwilling to do business on the unregulated platforms where bitcoin now trades to place bets on bitcoin's price.

"This only adds to the Bitcoin phenomenon".

The Treasury has said it now intends to regulate the digital currency, as part of EU-wide plans that will require online platforms that trade in Bitcoin to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions.

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 head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has admitted that cryptocurrencies could be a useful tool, being potentially "easier and safer" to hold than paper bills in remote regions, or countries with unstable national currencies.

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