Bitcoin futures rise after trading slows website

Bitcoin futures rise after trading slows website

Bitcoin futures rise after trading slows website

The price of Bitcoin has spiked following the launch of Bitcoin futures trading on CBOE.

"The volumes and flow traded are actually reasonable, and by 4:15 AEDT just over 2310 trades had taken place, representing a notional United States dollars value of over $39.1 million", said Chris Weston from IG markets.

The supply of bitcoin will eventually be capped at 21 million, and some 16.7 million have already been released.

"The next immediate things we will see with the futures is more predictable price movement and less volatility", said Emin Gun Sirer, a professor at Cornell University who studies digital currencies like bitcoin.

"We'll see what goes on here", he said.

"Also, an asset that goes nearly vertically up should typically raise alarm bells for investors", he added. So far this year it has soared about 15 fold, stoking concerns that the bubble would burst in dramatic fashion.

The latest surge brought its so-called market cap, its price multiplied by the number of bitcoins in circulation, to almost US$280 billion, according to Coinmarketcap, a trade website. "We've watched this happen before as markets have evolved".

The CBOE futures do not involve actual bitcoin; they're securities that will track the price of bitcoin on Gemini, one of the larger bitcoin exchanges. Some online brokers such as Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade have chosen not to facilitate trades of bitcoin futures from day one.

JPMorgan's Dimon said Friday that he's still "highly skeptical" of Bitcoin. It was last down 8.2 per cent at $15,232.32 on BitStamp.

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Coinbase, the largest US platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, said on Thursday on Twitter that it had experienced an outage due to record traffic. As bitcoin slumped, other cryptocurrencies climbed.

"It will hit potentially US$20,000 because so much capital is coming in and it's the most liquid secure coin out there", said David Drake, founder and chairman of DLJ Capital, a family office in NY.

Established in 2009 after the financial meltdown, Bitcoin has no central bank or regulatory authority backing it up.

The volatility of bitcoin trading has been well chronicled in recent weeks.

Those price discrepancies could add another level of speculation by introducing the prospect of arbitrage trades between the markets. This is a watershed for bitcoin because many professional investors have been unwilling to do business on the unregulated platforms where it now trades.

A letter last week, from the Futures Industry Association, said the CBOE and larger exchange operator CME are rushing the futures to market without a proper consideration of the risks.

And on two separate occasions, the exchange enforced a trading halt - initiated automatically if prices move up or down by more than 10%.

A similar situation had occurred with CBOE during the first few hours since its listing of bitcoin futures. Its rapid rise has drawn in millions of new investors.

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