Traders brace for bitcoin futures launch after wild week for currency


The newest way to bet on bitcoin will be available later on Sunday when futures in the wildly fluctuating cryptocurrency start trading. The first bitcoin future trades are set to kick off at 6 pm local time on a Chicago exchange.The launch on the Cboe futures exchange has given an extra kick to the currency’s scorching run this year. It has nearly doubled in price since the start of December, but recent days saw sharp moves in both directions, with bitcoin losing almost a fifth of its value on Friday after surging by more than 40% in the previous 48 hours to $16,600. On Sunday, bitcoin was up about 3% at $15,000 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange and on the Gemini exchange it was at $15,650.But while some market participants are excited about a regulated way to bet on or hedge against moves in bitcoin, others warn that risks remain for investors and possibly the clearing organisations underpinning the trades.

The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in dollars on the Gemini exchange, owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.(theguardian)…[+]