Another boost for Bitcoin came this week when the world’s largest derivatives exchange operator CME Group Inc. announced that they plan to launch a futures contract based on Bitcoin by the end of the year. This marks a major step towards legitimizing cryptocurrencies which helped push Bitcoin to another new record price level.
Traders use futures to bet on whether the price of a commodity such as oil or gold will rise or fall. They allow “long” investors, who think the price of a commodity will rise, to match their bets against “shorts,” who expect a price drop. The introduction of a US-based futures contract for Bitcoin will enable Wall Street trading firms and banks to protect themselves against volatile price swings with the digital currency. It would also facilitate easier trading for retail investors.
The new cash contract will be based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), a daily updated price rate of Bitcoin to USD. Rival exchange group CBOE Holdings Inc. are also competing to be the first official marketplace to offer to trade in the cryptocurrency.
Industry analysts have supported the move stating that it is going to help tremendously with institutional support and may help manage the volatility that some institutions see that as a hiccup. The massive rally Bitcoin has seen this year has caused a huge divide among Wall Street heavyweights.
It is no surprise that Bankers such as JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon has publically denounced Bitcoin, calling it a fraud. It was later reported that not to miss an opportunity, the firm then proceeded to invest in it after causing a price dip with these comments – market manipulation at the highest level.
Prices marched upwards again on the back of the CME news and Bitcoin broke another barrier trading above $6,400 and continuing to show bullish momentum. In September CME President Bryan Durkin told Bloomberg that they would not be moving forward with futures contracts in Bitcoin. However the change of tack has been a result of a surge in demand; “Given increasing client interest in the evolving crypto-currency markets, we have decided to introduce a Bitcoin futures contract,” stated company CEO, Terry Duffy.
The move will ultimately enable more people to feel comfortable holding Bitcoin and open up blockchain technology to the masses. This can only drive prices even further up for the King of Coins and hopefully, its smaller siblings will follow.