The price of bitcoin has been a nail-biting ride in 2017, and now futures trading in the capricious cryptocurrency is available on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). As of 11pm UCT on Sunday evening, marketeers have been placing their bets on where the blockchain currency’s value will land early next year.
Amid the frenzy, both the CBOE futures contracts and bitcoin’s value against the dollar rocketed. Valued at $16,023 as of Friday night, the digital currency dipped over the weekend; bitcoin hit a low of $14,509 overnight on Sunday before gaining a 15% increase in value, reaching $16,717 by 8am UCT on Monday.
The value of futures contracts expiring in mid January on CBOE peaked at $18850 on the morning of the first trading day. The XBT futures contracts – a cash-settled contract based on Gemini’s auction price – expiring in each of the first three months of the new year saw value increases of $2,140; $1,140 and $2,670 respectively at the time of writing. In spite of the cryptocurrency’s volatility, CBOE predicts its value will continue to increase steadily, landing at $19,330 on March 14 2018 as of Monday mid-morning.
At 1am UCT on Friday December 8, bitcoin hit an all-time high of $17,117 according to Coindesk. On Monday mid-morning, its value nudged this figure at $16,495. The cryptocurrency has tripled in value since early November, when its worth dipped slightly to $5,857 on the second Sunday in November.
As a promotion, CBOE waived its XBT exchange fees for the month of December. Minutes after the futures contracts launch, the mercantile exchange tweeted that its website “is performing slower than usual” owing to “heavy traffic”. CBOE’s website crashed multiple times on Monday due to the flood of eager traders, the Telegraph reported.
Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved bitcoin futures trading on December 1. Rival market traders Chicago Mercantile Exchange is expected to list futures contracts in the blockchain currency next week.