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Tech & Science Bitcoin Futures Start With a Bang as 26% Rally Triggers Halts

13:45  11 december  2017
13:45  11 december  2017 Source:   bloomberg.com

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Bitcoin landed on Wall Street with a bang . Cboe website stalls, bitcoin ’s price spikes as contracts start . Products should ease wagers on cryptocurrency’s rise or fall. Bloomberg’s Adam Haigh reports on the start of the bitcoin futures trading on the CBOE. Bitcoin landed on Wall Street with a bang .

Bitcoin landed on Wall Street with a bang . Less than three hours after the debut of Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s bitcoin futures , the contracts climbed as much as 14 percent and triggered a two-minute trading halt designed to cool volatility. Bitcoin makes modest debut on futures market. 26 m.

A close-up view of an illustration model of a Bitcoin is seen on Dec. 6, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. © Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty Images A close-up view of an illustration model of a Bitcoin is seen on Dec. 6, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. (Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin has landed on Wall Street with a bang.

Futures on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 26 percent in their debut session on Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s exchange, triggering two temporary trading halts designed to calm the market. Initial volume exceeded dealers’ expectations, while traffic on Cboe’s website was so heavy that it caused delays and outages. The website’s problems had no impact on trading systems, Cboe said.

“It is rare that you see something more volatile than bitcoin, but we found it: bitcoin futures,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia.

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Bitcoin landed on Wall Street with a bang . Less than three hours after the debut of Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s bitcoin futures , the contracts climbed as much as 14% and triggered a two-minute trading halt designed to cool volatility.

Bitcoin landed on Wall Street with a bang . Less than three hours after the debut of Cboe Global Markets' bitcoin futures , the contracts climbed as much as 14 per cent and triggered a two-minute trading halt designed to cool volatility.

a screenshot of a cell phone: First-Day Surge © Provided by Bloomberg LP First-Day Surge

The launch of futures on a regulated exchange is a watershed for bitcoin, whose surge this year has captivated everyone from mom-and-pop speculators to Wall Street trading firms. The Cboe contracts, soon to be followed by similar offerings from CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc., should make it easier for mainstream investors to bet on the cryptocurrency’s rise or fall. Bitcoin wagers have until now been mostly limited to venues with little or no oversight, deterring institutional money managers and exposing some users to the risk of hacks and market breakdowns.

Proponents of regulated bitcoin derivatives say the contracts will increase market transparency and boost liquidity, but skeptics abound. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a “fraud,” while China’s government has cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges this year. The Futures Industry Association -- a group of major banks, brokers and traders -- said this month that contracts in the U.S. were rushed without enough consideration of the risks.

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As of May 2014, Kepler started its K2 mission, which has provided an ecliptic field of view with greater opportunities for Earth-based observatories in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Bitcoin Futures Start With a Bang as 26 % Rally Triggers Halts .

Bitcoin Futures Start With a Bang as 25% Rally Triggers Halts .

So far though, trading has kicked off without any major hiccups.

Dealers said volume was high for a new contract, even though it was tiny relative to more established futures. And the trading halts took effect just as Cboe had outlined in its rules. Transactions stopped for two minutes after a 10 percent gain from the opening price, and for five minutes after a 20 percent jump. Another five-minute halt will take effect if the rally extends to 30 percent, Cboe said in a notice on its website.

“It was pretty easy to trade,” Joe Van Hecke, managing partner at Chicago-based Grace Hall Trading LLC, said in a telephone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina. “I think you’ll see a robust market as time plays out.”

a screenshot of a cell phone: Futures Storm Out of the Gate © Provided by Bloomberg LP Futures Storm Out of the Gate

Bitcoin futures expiring in January traded at $17,930 as of 8:38 a.m. in London, up from an opening level of $15,000, as about 2,700 contracts changed hands. Bitcoin has gained 7.3 percent since late Friday to $16,791, according to the composite price on Bloomberg.

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“So far, looking at the contract volume traded, we believe that there is a decent demand and this is driving up the price of bitcoin,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at TF Global Markets in London.

For now, Cboe futures account for a tiny slice of the world’s bitcoin-related bets. The notional value of contracts traded in the first eight hours totaled about $40 million. Globally, about $1.1 billion of bitcoin traded against the U.S. dollar during the same period, according to Cryptocompare.com.

Futures a Drop in the Crypto Ocean © Bloomberg Futures a Drop in the Crypto Ocean

Some people who would like to trade futures are having a hard time accessing the market because not all brokers are supporting it initially, said Garrett See, chief executive officer of DV Chain. Participation may also be limited because of higher capital requirements and tighter risk limits, See said.

“We’re in the early stages here, and there’s not enough professional liquidity from the big market makers who can provide depth and hold in the movements,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda Corp. “It’s going to be a learning curve.”

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It’s been painful for investors stuck on the sidelines. This year alone, bitcoin is up more than 1,600 percent. The surge has been driven largely by demand from individuals, with technical obstacles keeping out most big money managers like mutual funds.

Bloomberg’s Adam Haigh reports on the start of the bitcoin futures trading on the CBOE.

The new derivatives contracts should thrust bitcoin more squarely into the realm of regulators, banks and institutional investors. Both Cboe and CME on Dec. 1 got permission to offer the contracts after pledging to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that the products don’t run afoul of the law, in a process called self-certification.

Not everyone is happy with the expedited roll out. Exchanges failed to get enough feedback from market participants on margin levels, trading limits, stress tests and clearing, the Futures Industry Association said this month. In November, Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers Group Inc., wrote an open letter to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, arguing that bitcoin’s large price swings mean its futures contracts shouldn’t be allowed on platforms that clear other derivatives.

Still, Interactive Brokers is offering its customers access to the futures, with restrictions. The firm’s clients won’t be able to go short, and Interactive’s margin requirement, or how much investors have to set aside as collateral, will be at least 50 percent. That’s a stricter threshold than both Cboe’s and CME’s.

The start of futures trading is an important milestone for bitcoin’s shift from the fringes of finance toward the mainstream, but it could be some time before the cryptocurrency becomes a key part of investor portfolios -- if it ever does.

“You never say never,” David Riley, who helps oversee $57 billion as head of credit strategy at BlueBay Asset Management LLP in London, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “But I do think we’re quite some way from making cryptocurrencies even a relatively small part of some of the funds we manage at the moment.”

(Updates with price swings and quotes from second paragraph.)

--With assistance from Matthew Leising Doug Alexander Sonali Basak Annie Massa Brian Louis and Andrea Tan

To contact the reporters on this story: Rob Urban in New York at robprag@bloomberg.net, Camila Russo in New York at crusso15@bloomberg.net, Yuji Nakamura in Tokyo at ynakamura56@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net, Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Michael Patterson, Christopher Anstey

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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