Bitcoin futures are now tradable on the CBOE

Bitcoin futures trading on CBOE, the world’s largest futures exchange , merely launched at 5pm CT.

Within a minute of the launch bitcoin spiked about 10% from ~$ 14,700 all the way up to $16,200 before settling a few minutes later to around $15,500, up about 5 %. Now an hour after launching the actual price of bitcoin is still up, trading around $15,350.

Currently the settlement price of the January 1st, 2018 futures contract is pegging the digital currency’s future cost at $15,700 with relatively little volume being traded. Each contract is pegged at one bitcoin, meaning volume exchanged has totaled about $7.7 M with actual dollars traded being less since the contract only requires a 30% margin requirement.

The circuit breaker was hit at the least once after trading started, which stops trading for 2 minutes after a 10% move and 5 minutes after a 20% move up or down.

516 contracts have traded for the January settlement date, with merely a couple of contracts for the March 2017 settlement date have traded so far.

CBOE’s website went down as futures trading launched, but this was mainly because of a spike in interest and not inevitably trading volume. Trades need to be made through brokerage platforms, so CBOE’s site genuinely only provides quotes and information and not the functionality to actually trade options.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, CBOE said “due to heavy traffic on our website, visitors to www.cboe.com may find that it is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable. All trading systems are operating normally.”.

Regardless, volume has as yet been low in the 30 minutes since options launched.

While there’s a chance activity will spike tomorrow when the trading week starts, so far this volume is much less than most expected.

As a refresher, CBOE is launching three futures contracts, with the settlement price being bitcoin’s trading cost on January 1st, February 1st and March 1st, respectably. The CME group will launch their own future product afterward in December, and as of now these two products will be the only style for investors to trade the digital currency without actually holding it themselves.

Many think that the futures product will help stabilize the price of bitcoin, as well as hastened its adoption by Wall Street. Others think it’s a sign regulators are easing their view on the digital currency, which could lead to approving for future products like a bitcoin ETF.

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One bitcoin is now worth $10,000

It happened. One bitcoin is now worth $10,000.

The milestone was hit on international exchanges earlier in the day( where prices are usually a few percentage higher) and was just intersected on U.S exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini a few minutes ago.

This comes two days after bitcoin reached$ 9k, and eight days after it crossed$ 8k.

This $ 10,000 marks a bull rally basically never before seen in modern financial markets. For perspective, bitcoin is now up 1,258% over the past year, with the cumulative value of all cryptocurrencies up 2,174% to a total of $316 B. Bitcoin alone currently represents about 54% of this total marketplace cap.

BTC 1y cost graph, from coinmarketcap.com

It’s a strange time in bitcoin land. There’s never been an asset, with the exception perhaps being Tulips, that’s risen so much in such a short sum of day. So without any precedent or style to designate a “book value” to the currency , no one truly knows what to think or do.

Some say this is the nascent start of a trillion dollar the enterprises and the biggest thing to happen in technology since the internet was fabricated. Some think that bitcoin will replace gold and U.S dollars and every monetary instrument in between. Yet others say that this is the biggest speculatory bubble the world has ever seen, and that bitcoin will crash to zero tomorrow.

And of course there’s the majority of us who think something in between, or really simply don’t know what to think. It’s hard enough to predict how technology will develop, and even harder when you add the feelings attached with trying to independently value and assess a tradable, liquid asset like bitcoin.

So the question likely on your mind right now…what’s next?

No one knows. Even the most passionate cryptocurrency believers admit that we’re very likely in a bubble, and that some type of correction will happen. Of course no one knows if this will be a 20% or 2,000% correction, or if it will even happen at all. But don’t be surprised if it eventually happens on some scale.

But despite the fact most of us can’t open Twitter or turn on CNBC without hearing about bitcoin, it’s adoption is still relatively small. Many Americans still have no idea what a bitcoin is, what it does or how to purchase one. The same goes for Wall street, and even though there have been over 100 cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund opened in the last year many institutional investors still haven’t take a stake in bitcoin.

So this could just be the beginning. Or the end. Either style, this milestone is a perfect time to step back and appear just how crazy the last year has been in the world of cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin just passed $8,000

Stop me if you’ve hear this before…

This morning bitcoin shot past ** INSERT PRICE MILESTONE **, and is now hovering around ** INSERT CURRENT PRICE ** — up nearly ** INSERT% ** percentage from yesterday.

Just kidding. We don’t actually use that template, but if you’ve been following bitcoin over the last 6 months it probably sounds very familiar.

In all seriousness, bitcoin has been on a wild run. Yesterday the cost shooting past $8,000 for the first time, and per usual when it breaks through a milestone is now trading solidly above it at $8,250.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening in bitcoin world the last few weeks.

On November 2nd the price of Bitcoin passed $7,000 for the first time, fueled by demand before the Segwit2x hard fork that was supposed to happen a few days ago. Anyone that held a bitcoin prior to the opening of the fork would receive an equal quantity of the forked coin, which some assured as being akin to free money.

When the hard fork was canceled on November 10 th the price plummeted down to $5,800 as people moved their fund back into alternative cryptocurrencies. This sudden plummet also coincided with some very strange motion in the price of bitcoin cash( BCH) which considered the price and hash rate spike for about 24 hours, temporarily stimulating it the second most valuable coin and the coin with the most hash rate( even outshining bitcoin ).

Bitcoin’s price over the last month- from coinmarketcap.com

Anyways , now that the drama has passed the price is on a steady climbing again and well past $8,000. So what’s causing this?

While I made this argument when it passed $5,000 in early October, I still think that institutional interest is the main cause of this extended rally.

Over 100 cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds have been created in the least year, which are acting as a conduit for large amounts of fiat being be transformed into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Even old-school hedge fund and investment institutions are getting in on the action, to the extend that there are services that allow them to safely do so.

And these services are coming. Just last week Coinbase announced a service to securely store $10 M or more of cryptocurrency for institutional investors. Additionally, CME group will launch the first ever governed bitcoin futures product on December 10 th. Both of these offerings will make it easier for big diversified investment vehicles to enter the market.

So what’s next? No one knows, but at this point it looks like $10 k before the end of the year is possible. Of course it’s just as likely for the cost to plummet, as many say we are due for a correction.

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