Despite a lack of cooperation from Wall Street investment banks and some leading brokers, bitcoin futures trading is off to a roaring start. The first trades went through at 23:00 GMT and the cryptocurrency spiked around $1,000 dollars but fell back almost as quickly as it rose. Bitcoin initially jumped to $16,256 on US exchange Coinbase and at the time of writing is firming at around $15,500.
But in a worrying sign perhaps, the CBOE website was down at the time of writing.
On Saturday bitcoin fell to $13,000 before recovering somewhat on Sunday.
Bitcoin futures mean investors can now gain exposure to bitcoin without having to buy the underlying asset or worry about the custody issues. The huge rally by the digital currency which saw it reach a high above 18,000, has largely been driven by the expectation that the start of futures trading on the CBOE, CME and Nasdaq exchanges will open the door to a flood of institutional money.
However, there are also worries that hedge funds will use futures as a vehicle for shorting the cryptocurrency. Its early days yet, but there is one thing that is in evidence: volatility. It was always so.
Gary has been writing about cryptocurrencies since 2013 and currently works as the cryptocurrency analyst at interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest online investment platform. Gary contributes for Coin Intelligence News in a personal capacity and none of his commentary should be considered investment advice. Gary is the winner of the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2018 Cryptocurrency Writer of the Year. Contact Gary on twitter at: @gary_mcfarlane