Bitcoin Is Now Trading on the World’s Largest Futures Exchange

 

CME Group (CME, +0.38%), the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator, began trading bitcoin futures Sunday, with the contract opening at what is currently its session high and dropping over 6% within the first half hour.

The CME bitcoin front-month futures opened at $20,650. The new contract was recently at $19,290 on CME, below the $19,500 reference price set by the exchange for the January contract.

The reference price, from which price limits are set, is $19,600 for the February contract, $19,700 for March and $19,900 for June, according to CME.

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The launch of bitcoin futures is viewed as a major step in the digital currency’s path toward legitimacy that should ease the entry of big institutional investors.

The week-old bitcoin futures contract at the Cboe was last trading at $19,280, up 6.5% on the day.

Last week, Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched bitcoin futures, which saw the price surge nearly 20% in its debut.

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Some investors believe the CME bitcoin futures could attract more institutional demand because the final settlement price is culled from multiple exchanges.

The Cboe futures contract is based on a closing auction price of bitcoin from the Gemini exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss

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