The price of a single bitcoin, which had been on a downward trajectory for the last couple of days, reversed course and rose by more than 12% to $16,313.99 after the cryptocurrency’s futures debuted at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). At 13:42 UTC on Monday, bitcoin was trading at $16,258.12, up by 8.12% in the last 24 hours.
Prices for other cryptocurrencies were also bolstered in the wake of bitcoin’s rise. Among the top 10 most-traded cryptocurrencies, Litecoin jumped by approximately 25% in the last 24 hours to post a record high of $176.99. IOTA, a cryptocurrency for IoT transactions, was the only digital currency to fall in the top 10. It slid by 2% to $4.20. The overall market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was $441.5 billion at 13.53 UTC. (See also: The 6 Most Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin.)
The Effect of Bitcoin Futures on Bitcoin’s Price
Despite widespread concerns about volatility, bitcoin futures made a successful debut on the CBOE. The prices for bitcoin futures contracts rose by as much as 22 percent before paring back gains, according to Reuters. (See also: Hotly Anticipated Bitcoin Futures Ease Off After 22 Pct Surge.)
Trading was halted twice to contain price volatility. The CBOE stops trading for two minutes if prices move by 10 percent on either side, and for 10 minutes, if a 20 percent movement takes place. In bitcoin’s case, a circuit breaker was implemented after 2.5 hours and also after four hours.
Experts are now focused on the effect of bitcoin futures on the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem, including bitcoin prices. Institutional investors are expected to enter the market through futures contracts and bring liquidity and price stability to the market.
But that might take some time. Mike Novogratz, chief executive officer at Galaxy Investment Partners, estimates that it will take at least one cycle to figure out bitcoin’s true settlement price. He may have a point. The initial surge in bitcoin’s price may have more to do with media hype about the digital currency and its returns than its underlying utility as a store of value (which is yet to be proved).
For historical context, gold – a precious metal to which bitcoin is often compared – began trading at $205 an ounce on December 31, 1974 on the futures markets after a decade-long run up of 450% in its price. But gold plummeted to $129 an ounce by September the following year, before it began a slow recovery again.
Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed by more than 1,400 percent this year, and an increasing number of experts have opined that the cryptocurrency may be in bubble territory. (See also: Is Bitcoin In Bubble Territory?) If that is indeed the case, then the cryptocurrency’s futures debut might serve to break the bubble in bitcoin’s price.