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Bitcoin Futures Trading Begins on Major Exchange for First Time

Trading in Bitcoin futures started Sunday night, and trading was so volatile it had to be halted twice. The trading in futures mirrored the rise in value of the cryptocurrency itself, with a quick surge in value.

David Royse | LedeTree

Trading in Bitcoin futures began on the Chicago Board Options Exchange Futures Exchange Sunday evening under the ticker symbol XBT, and the price of the futures quickly vaulted past $18,000 keeping the cryptocurrency on a wild ascent that has seen it triple in value in the past month.

January contracts on Bitcoin opened at $15,460 in New York and were briefly slightly lower than that, but later hit a high over $18,000.

February contracts were closing in on $18,000 early Monday, while March contracts had passed that mark.

Trading on Bitcoin futures gives investors the ability to bet on the future price of the underlying Bitcoin currency, known as the spot market.

Trading had to be briefly halted twice because of volatility triggers. The CBOE’s website also was slowing down.


But, at least in the early going, the volume of futures trades was relatively low – only about 800 contracts for Bitcoin futures traded in the first couple of hours.


Trading of Bitcoin on the futures exchange is widely seen as giving it some legitimacy in the financial world – something that has contributed to its remarkable rise in value. Trading in Bitcoin is expected to also start soon on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

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About David Royse

David Royse is the Editor-in-Chief of Ledetree.com. He has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, including stints with The Associated Press and The News Service of Florida. He enjoys writing about health and medical science, and hopeful stories about scientific breakthroughs and new technology.

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