Coinbase is the largest exchange for buying and selling bitcoin in the United States, and a recent announcement in the space has prompted the service to grow even further. According to a report by CNBC, roughly 100,000 new users joined the exchange in a single day, following an announcement that the world's largest futures exchange, CME, plans to launch bitcoin futures later in 2017. The boost brings Coinbase's user base up to nearly 12 million customers, according to the service's website.

New Users Joined in Response to Announcement

CME announced on Tuesday that it would launch a bitcoin futures product at some point before the end of this year. The move is expected to provide many large investors who are otherwise restrictred from purchasing bitcoin directly with access to the leading digital currency. The new user pool joined the Coinbase population within a day or so of the Tuesday announcement, per data compiled by Altana Digital Currency Fund's Alistair Milne, the co-founder and CIO. Coinbase was already the largest bitcoin exchange in the United States, and it is also one of the top digital currency exchanges the world over. Besides bitcoin, it offers users access to other digital currencies like ethereum and litecoin as well.

Bitcoin Continues to Grow

The news of the bitcoin futures plans did more for the currency than expand the exchanges which focus on it. Bitcoin climbed to astonishing new highs as a result of the news from CME, and the price of the cryptocurrency is currently more than $7,500 per coin. The currency, which had already climbed to considerable heights throughout the year so far, has only continued to be valued at higher and higher levels.

Coinbase began in 2012, having raised roughly $217 million from a diverse pool of investors. The San Francisco-based start-up previously reported a flash crash in ethereum, during which the second-largest digital currency saw its price drop precipitously and then recover again in seconds. The flash crash prompted speculation that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was beginning an investigation into the digital currency exchange's practices as a result.

The introduction of futures into the cryptocurrency space is a major shift for investors in the area. As in the general futures market, cryptocurrency futures allow customers to fix a price at which they would like to buy or sell that cryptocurrency at a specified time in the future. Particularly considering the dramatic volatility and unpredictability associated with digital currencies, including bitcoin, this may draw a wide pool of new investors into the area. It could also begin to involve investors who might otherwise have been unable to invest directly in bitcoin because of regional prohibitions or company policies.