CME Launches Bitcoin Futures

CME Group Inc. launched bitcoin futures trading on its platform on December 17. Though it received a lukewarm response, experts believe the cryptocurrency has a long way to proceed.

The CME bitcoin futures contract opened at $20,650, but rolled down by 6 percent within a half hour. The contract reached at $18,805, which is lower than the reference price of $19,500 set by the exchange for the January contract. CME set the reference price of $19,600 for the February contract, $19,700 for March, and $19,900 for June.

Chicago-based derivatives exchange CBOE Global Markets debuted bitcoin futures on December 10. There was an upsurge in price by nearly 20 percent in its debut. The bitcoin futures at the CBOE was trading at $18,890, registering the raise of 4.3 percent.

Spot bitcoin reached $18,650, reducing by 1.9 percent on the Bitstamp exchange. It reached a record high of $19,666 on December 17.

“We saw a nice open on light volume, but pretty uneventful so far,” said Spencer Bogart, partner at Blockchain Capital LLC, shortly after trading began on CME on December 10. “This is a brand-new asset class and I think perhaps a lot of investors want to sit back and see how this plays out before dipping their toes in this market.”

CME traded 590 contracts on its debut. The CBOE traded around 4,000 contracts during the full session on its debut.

The launch on CME represents that the cryptocurrency is moving forward toward legitimacy and attracting big investors.