CME Group’s long-awaited bitcoin futures trading began today with a bullish signal, as the sale price for its Jan. 18 contracts opened above $20,000.
Coming months after the Chicago-based derivatives exchange operator first revealed plans to launch dedicated products for bitcoin, the launch took place at 6 p.m EST today. The opening price for the January contract was $20,650, $1,150 over the pre-settled price of $19,500.
All told, more than 200 Jan. 2018 contracts were bought during the first hour, CME data reveals.
The operator’s site shows that one Feb. 2018 contract and one March 2018 contract were sold, along with two scheduled to expire in June. Prices for the latter three are above $20,000 at press time.
Since the opening, contracts have continued trading at a premium against the price of bitcoin, which at press time was at $18,439, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). Bitcoin’s price was trading above $19,400 when CME launched trading of the bitcoin futures.
At its heart, the launch represents a major milestone for the cryptocurrency market.
Along with last week’s bitcoin futures kick-off from Cboe, the past week has now seen the launch of multiple products aimed at institutional investors. And, as previously reported, other institutional giants including Nasdaq and Wall Street’s Cantor Fitzgerald are expected to launch products around bitcoin in 2018.
However, in a departure from the initially rocky launch for Cboe, which saw its website become briefly inaccessible due to significant traffic, CME’s site remained stable after the open.
For more information about bitcoin futures, read Level Trading Field CEO Lanre Sarumi’s three-part CoinDesk series exploring the topic.
Disclosure: CME Group is an investor in Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk’s parent company.
CME image via Shutterstock
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Source: Coin Desk