Call it an anticlimax. 

In anticipation of bitcoin’s CME futures debut, its price almost touched $20,000 yesterday. But the cryptocurrency is cheaper after the start of its CME futures debut. At 14:26 UTC, the price of a single bitcoin is $18,405.88, down 3.57% in the last 24 hours. At 11:00 UTC yesterday, it touched a new record high of $19,694.68 before retreating to its current levels. (See also: CME To launch Bitcoin Futures.) 

Other cryptocurrencies in the top 10 most-traded cryptocurrencies were a mixed bag. Six showed marginal to average gains while others lost value. Bitcoin rival Bitcoin Cash drew strength from bitcoin’s losses, rising by 16% in the last 24 hours to trade at $2,159.60, as of this writing. Bitcoin cash, which has minimal transaction fees and comparable rewards as compared to bitcoin, has also gained an edge over the original cryptocurrency among miners. 

Cardano, a three-month-old cryptocurrency that racked up gains of approximately 390 percent over the weekend, reversed course and was trading at $0.47, down by approximately 6% in the last 24 hours. In a couple of tweets earlier, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee had expressed concern about Cardano’s valuation.

At 14:43 UTC, the overall market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was $591.1 billion. 

A CME Futures Debut And New Valuation      

Bitcoin futures contracts began trading at $20,650, and 370 contracts (amounting to $35 million in total) changed hands during the first couple of hours. Unlike at CBOE, where the price of bitcoin futures contracts traded at a premium to spot markets, the price gap at CME narrowed quickly as bitcoin’s price fell on spot markets. As of this writing, the January contract for bitcoin futures at CME was trading at $18,700. The price for bitcoin on spot markets was $18,670.71.

Matt Osborne, chief investment officer at Altegris, said CME may attract more traders because its bitcoin futures are based on “a broader array of exchanges.” Bobby Cho from Cumberland Mining provided additional perspective. According to Cho, the spot market dictates futures trading prices “just because of sheer volumes (in trading).” 

This means that new valuations for bitcoin should come in handy for futures traders. Ronnie Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, had predicted a price target of $5,000 for bitcoin, when it was trading at $2,600. (See also: Is Bitcoin On Track To Surpass Apple's Market Cap?) This morning, he told CNBC that bitcoin will touch six figures and become the world’s most valuable currency.

According to Moas, bitcoin is similar to e-commerce behemoth Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) in that it is a long term buy. “The way to play Amazon for the last 15 years was to buy it, hold it, and add on the dips," he said. "That's exactly the way I think people should be playing bitcoin."   

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