After much anticipation, the second company to launch bitcoin futures, CME Group, did so on Sunday with great success.
CME Group is currently the world’s largest exchange operator by value, and yesterday was another day for it to shine when it offered the bitcoin futures opportunity, which lets investors bet on the future price of bitcoin. Close to $50m of contracts exchanged hands in the first few hours of trading.
CME’s contract will be in direct competition with the first company to launch bitcoin futures, CBOE Global Markets. CBOE launched its bitcoin futures program about one week before CME Group.
Looking at the contracts on CBOE’s exchange, a January-expiry contract was trading at $19,540, which shows that investors believe the value of bitcoin will continue to rise slightly over the next month. It is currently worth $19,195. In comparison, the same contract offered by CME was trading at $19,645, coming in a little higher even.
Bitcoin actually narrowed in on the $20,000 mark on Sunday before it fell back on Monday. Its value has skyrocketed almost 20 times since the beginning of the year.
Other big news to go alongside the futures launch is that French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, just shared that he would be pushing for the regulation of bitcoin.
“I am going to propose to the next G20 president, Argentina, that at the G20 summit in April we have a discussion all together on the question of bitcoin,” Mr Le Maire announced, according to Reuters.
“There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how (…) with all the other G20 members we can regulate bitcoin.”
Both the EU and the UK Government have both expressed concerns about the unregulated cryptocurrency’s use in tax evasion and money laundering.
In a statement earlier this month, the Treasury explained, “We are working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.”
Several well-known financial advisors are still warning investors of the extreme risk associated with bitcoin, believing that bitcoin is just a bubble that will soon burst, leaving people out of a lot of money.