Bitcoin Futures Surge As Cboe Trading Starts In Cryptocurrency Milestone

Bitcoin futures launched on Cboe Global Markets Sunday, with the cryptocurrency surging. January Bitcoin futures rose 15% to $17,840 in active trading.

Bitcoin’s big 2017 run has intensified in recent weeks, rapidly rising from $10,000 to last week clearing $17,000 last week — above $19,000 on some spot-price platforms — before pulling back. Bitcoin was trading at $16,270.93CoinDesk, up 8% vs. a day earlier.

Bitcoin futures trades, via the symbol XBT, will have zero transaction fees through December. Cboe is getting a jump on CME Group (CME). CME Bitcoin futures launch on Monday, Dec. 18.

Bitcoin futures are a major milestone, showing that the digital currency now has the acceptance of major financial exchanges. Futures should boost liquidity for the cryptocurrency, making it a more acceptable investment vehicle. But some of that liquidity will come from investors getting a chance to short Bitcoin.

Goldman Sachs (GS) will clear Bitcoin futures trades for clients. But JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C) reportedly will not, at least to start. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon last week said that he remains “highly skeptical” of the cryptocurrency, after previously calling it a “fraud.” Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently said that Bitcoin “doesn’t feel like a currency.”

TD Ameritrade (AMTD) is among the brokerages that will make Bitcoin futures contracts available for individual investors.

It’ll be interesting to see the impact of Bitcoin futures on Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC). The Bitcoin investment vehicle has been a Bitcoin proxy for investors.

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