Bitcoin Futures Surge in Debut

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Virtual currency Bitcoin tokens are seen in this illustration picture, December 8, 2017. Picture taken December 8. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has made a big splash on Wall Street. Newly introduced Bitcoin futures jumped as high as 26 percent in early trading, forcing the CBOE to temporarily halt trading. The CBOE’s website was hit so hard with unusually high traffic that the site had to shut down for a short period of time.

The 1,807 percent surge in Bitcoin this year has captivated the investing world. Some long-time analysts believe that the record-breaking run up in a volatile cryptocurrency is a sure sign that a big drop is in order. Others believe that blockchain technology is so advanced that the current value of Bitcoin is supported, with more room to run.

Before Bitcoin futures were introduced on the CBOE, traders bought and sold the digital currency on a largely unregulated market. However, Nasdaq Inc. and the CME Group plan to make similar futures contract offers in the not too distant future. With these new offerings, investors will have an easier time betting on the rise or fall in the value of Bitcoin.

Some analysts feared that the value of Bitcoin would fall dramatically with short sellers putting a heavy burden the price. However, the cryptocurrency’s value seems to be holding up well in early trading. The problem is not all investors are enamored with the popular currency.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has made it very clear that he believes Bitcoin is a fraud. China recently cracked down on the digital currency, making it illegal to buy or sell Bitcoin or offer any new forms of cryptocurrency. A group of traders, major banks and brokers known as the Futures Industry Association has said the offering of Bitcoin futures contracts was “rushed,” and there was not enough thought leadership concerning the inherent risk of trading Bitcoin futures on the CBOE.

 

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