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11 Dec, 2017 09:25

Bitcoin surges to $17,000 after start of futures trading

Bitcoin surges to $17,000 after start of futures trading

The price of bitcoin has soared by nearly a quarter to almost $17,000 in the past 24 hours after the Chicago-based exchange, Cboe, launched the first bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday. It increased 8 percent in less than 10 minutes after trading began.

Significant traffic around the futures launch triggered temporary delays and outages, with bitcoin maintaining a steady rise since the initial jump. The world’s number-one virtual currency was trading at over $16,900 at 8:26 GMT.

“It was pretty easy to trade. I think you’ll see a robust market as time plays out,” said Joe Van Hecke, managing partner at Chicago-based Grace Hall Trading LLC, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The launch of bitcoin futures trading on a regulated exchange is seen as a historic move due to the brand-new nature of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is not a physical asset, unlike gold or crude; and – unlike fiat currencies – it is not controlled or backed by central banks.

Cboe, the first exchange in the US to trade bitcoin futures, is expected to be followed by another Chicago-based stock market CME as early as next week. The NASDAQ is planning to launch bitcoin futures in 2018.

The futures launch may lead to other products and services focused on cryptocurrencies, including a possible shift into exchange-traded funds (ETF) and notes, according to Edward Tilly, Cboe's chief executive officer, as quoted by industry news site CoinDesk.

“One of those potential next steps would be moving into ETFs and ETNs that would take Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” Tilly said.