Bitcoin Remains Low as Investors Await Futures Launch on Sunday

Published December 10th, 2017 - 08:44 GMT
Trading of the first U.S. bitcoin futures is set to begin at 18:00 ET on Sunday. (File photo)
Trading of the first U.S. bitcoin futures is set to begin at 18:00 ET on Sunday. (File photo)

The price of Bitcoin remained low as investors awaited the launch of trading of the first U.S. bitcoin futures later on Sunday.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, Bitcoin was at $13,951.00 by 08:12 AM ET (13:12 GMT), after going as low as $12,748.00 earlier.

Prices have declined since hitting an all-time high of $17,160.00 on Friday as bitcoin extended its gains for the year after starting 2017 at around $1,000.

Trading of futures tracking the cryptocurrency is set to begin at 18:00 ET on Sunday on an exchange run by Cboe Global Markets, less than 10 days after receiving a green light from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Larger exchange CME Group will begin initial listings of bitcoin futures contracts on December 18.

The move opens the door to more regulation but also more mainstream adoption, as bitcoin futures and other derivatives would make it easier to trade the new asset class.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Canada will not be offering their customers access to bitcoin futures when they first go live amid concerns over the digital currency’s wild volatility.

Other big Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs, will offer access but only for certain customers, according to the report.

Bitcoin’s abrupt rise has prompted warnings of an increasingly dangerous speculative bubble.

Last week Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein claimed that Bitcoin was “a vehicle to perpetrate fraud” as the value of the cryptocurrency plunged 20% in less than 24 hours.

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Blankfein became the latest boss of a major bank to criticize bitcoin, after JP Morgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon described it as fraud that would ultimately blow up.

Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading, Bitcoin Cash was last at $1,307.80, while Bitcoin Gold was at $223.38.

Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap after bitcoin, was at $438.21.

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