CME Group ( CME ) Bitcoin futures kicked off at $20,650, breaking the $20,000 mark a week after Cboe Global Markets ( CBOE ) launched its own futures for the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin prices traded above $19,000 on spot markets.
[ibd-display-video id=3017249 width=50 float=left autostart=true] CME Group is a much bigger player in futures than Cboe, while its Bitcoin contract will be derived from prices on four exchanges. Cboe’s contract is tied to just one, Gemini. So CME’s Bitcoin contract could generate far more liquidity and be more apt to generate institutional interest. It should also be easier to buy and short.
TD Ameritrade ( AMTD ) will let its investors trade Cboe Bitcoin futures starting Monday, but will wait on CME’s contract. TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest online broker s, making it far easier for millions of investors to take part in Bitcoin. Interactive Brokers ( IBKR ) already lets its customers trade Cboe futures. Interactive Brokers said it would start letting people short Bitcoin futures.
IBD’S TAKE: Are Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies real investments or a speculator’s game? Individual investors should be extremely cautious about diving into this new area. Read this feature about Bitcoin risks and possible gains first.
Among other differences between the Cboe and CME Bitcoin futures, Cboe’s are based on a single Bitcoin while CME’s are be based on five.
Bitcoin was trading at $19,321.39 on Coindesk, down a fraction, after reaching as high as $19,783.21 earlier. Bitcoin was at $19,573.60 on Coinmarketcap.
Bitcoin investment vehicle Bitcoin Investment Trust ( GBTC ) surged 64% last week to 2,699.
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