Bitcoin is taking steps toward the big time. Bitcoin climbed to a new all-time high of $6,450 on Wednesday (at the time of this publication), boosted by bets the cryptocurrency could enter the financial mainstream after the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator said on Tuesday it would launch bitcoin futures.
CME Group Inc (CME.O) said it would provide a regulated trading venue for the cryptocurrency market and would launch the new derivatives in the fourth quarter of 2017. “Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract,” Terry Duffy, CME Group chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Bitcoin has had a bumper year with a more than sixfold increase in price, and has more than doubled in price since mid-September alone.
In less than 10 years, bitcoin has come a long way from being “mined” in homes and predominately used to buy illegal goods online. An entire industry has emerged to mine bitcoin, sell digital mining equipment and offer bitcoin trading services.
The growth of bitcoin derivatives is another step toward the development of the digital currency as a more established asset class
It was up 0.3 percent on Wednesday on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP.
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