The future is here: CBOE begins Bitcoin trading

The Chicago Board Options Exchange has sounded the bell on Bitcoin's entrance into derivatives markets, opening up trading in futures that are already trading at a hefty premium to their underlying.

  • By Ross Lancaster
  • 11 Dec 2017
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At 5pm Chicago time on Sunday, CBOE bitcoin futures (XBT) began trading with a $15,000 opening price. Two and a quarter hours after trading opened for the contracts, 890 had been traded. The price of the January 2018 XBT contract went as high as $18,850 on Monday and as low as $15,420. Bitcoin’s high on the same day was $17,102 and its low $14,901.

CBOE twice halted trading overnight, once at 7.31pm Chicago time and again at 9.05pm. The exchange initially halts trading for two minutes when a bitcoin futures contract’s price moves up or down by 10% from its settlement price of the previous day, then triggers for five minutes if a 20% price move follows after trading reopens. 

The exchange said that markets were orderly between and after these two halts.

Bitcoin’s price trajectory has been anything but. After hitting a $15,000 level late Thursday, the cryptocurrency hit $18,298 on Friday before falling to $14,336 later that day. Bitcoin stood at $16,501 on Monday at 3.40pm London time. 


  • By Ross Lancaster
  • 11 Dec 2017

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