On Sunday, the Chicago Board Options Exchange began offering bitcoin futures, allowing investors to speculate on whether the digital currency’s price will go up or down.
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Monday marks the first full day of trading, and it’s a historic move. Unlike traditional commodities, bitcoins aren’t physical assets and unlike currencies, there isn’t a central bank that backs bitcoins. Bitcoins live on computer servers. And with Bitcoin, I really think it chimes with the sort of collapse in confidence in traditional forms of authority and the traditional financial system,” said Miles Johnson, capital markets editor at the Financial Times.
Trader Dan Deming, managing director of KKM Financial, said he has seen tremendous activity in the first 24 hours and it’s a huge success. Traders saw about 1, bitcoin futures trade overnight and up to 3, Monday morning. Some critics call bitcoin a bubble and a fraud. Meanwhile the Chicago Board of Exchange tweeted Sunday that its website was receiving heavy traffic after trading began.
Due to heavy traffic on our website, visitors to https: All trading systems are operating normally. It jumped eight percent in less than 10 minutes. The CBOE futures don’t involve actual bitcoin.
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They’re securities that will track the price of bitcoin on Gemini, one of the larger bitcoin exchanges. Another large futures exchange, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, will start trading its own futures on Dec. Futures are a type of contract in which a buyer and a seller agree on a price for a particular item to be delivered on a certain date in the future, hence the name.
Futures are available for nearly every type of security but are most famously used in commodities such as wheat, soy, gold, oil, cocoa and, as dramatized in the Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd movie “Trading Places,” concentrated frozen orange juice. The futures signal greater mainstream acceptance of bitcoin but also open up bitcoin to additional market forces. The futures will allow investors to bet that bitcoin’s price will go down – a practice known as shorting – which currently is very difficult to do.