Two fund firms make new push for bitcoin ETFs as futures debut

Two fund firms make new push for bitcoin ETFs as futures debut

The Bitcoin price (BTC/USD) has rebounded from its recent lows after Chicago Board Options Exchange late on Sunday evening launched its highly-anticipated Bitcoin futures contracts.

The start of trading is a first in the history of trading as unlike commodities, bitcoins aren't physical assets and unlike traditional currencies there is no central bank that backs the currency.

This weekend, the value of Bitcoin soared once again, and this time it was all because it finally started trading on a major exchange.

Currently, bitcoins are bought and sold on unregulated virtual exchanges. It opened at 5 p.m. CST at $15,000, according to CBOE Global Markets.

But now the world's biggest banks are anxious that a crash in the price of Bitcoin wouldn't just hurt ordinary investors, it could wreck the global economy.

The CBOE futures do not involve actual bitcoin; they're securities that will track the price of bitcoin on Gemini, one of the larger bitcoin exchanges. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, twin brothers who own large amounts of bitcoin, tried to create an exchange-traded fund based on bitcoin, but federal regulators denied their application. The market cap of Bitcoin is now $283 billion.

Subsequent reports show that CBOE's self-imposed circuit-breakers - which pause trading during big price swings - have activated in the hours since the futures trading went live. The entrance of regulated exchanges enables professional investors who have been unwilling to do business on the unregulated platforms where bitcoin now trades to place bets on bitcoin's price.

So far, bitcoin is a hit on Wall Street.

South Korea took an even stronger stance, with a blanket ban on Bitcoin Futures being traded by local firms.

The front-month bitcoin contract, which expires in January, traded at $17,970 on Monday morning.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that has exploded in popularly and volatility this year. They are created on computers using complex algorithms and recorded in a digital ledger. From an increase of nearly %1500 since the start of 2017 it jumped to 8% in approximately 10 minutes after the futures trading began. Some say they serve merely to facilitate money laundering and illicit, anonymous payments.