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Bitcoin futures surge past $20bn

By Lawrence Gash

Leading cryptocurrency continues to enjoy a strong week

According to the British crypto-analytics firm Skew, Bitcoin (BTC) futures spiked on Thursday, January 9, passing $20bn (£15bn, €18bn).

Aggregating the daily trading volume for Bitcoin futures across 12 leading exchanges, the firm found four consecutive days of growth.

While the majority of this action took place on established crypto exchanges, better regulated and more institutional futures platforms such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the physically-settled Bakkt also experienced a rise in volume.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and CME have offered futures derivatives trading to institutional investors since 2017, while Bakkt only launched last year. Having initially struggled to gain healthy trading volume, the platform has gone from strength to strength, processing $42.5m in Bitcoin futures in one day towards the end of 2019.

CME, which is the largest futures exchange on the planet, is preparing to offer Bitcoin options on its futures contracts in the coming days as a result of this uptick in trading interest. The exchange has also filed to double the limit for monthly Bitcoin futures open positions to meet demand.

Bitcoin, which is the most popular and largest cryptocurrency in the world, has enjoyed a strong week. The threat to global markets posed by the increase of tension between the US and Iran has caused a rise in Bitcoin’s value. This has vindicated the argument of those crypto commentators and analysts who previously emphasised Bitcoin’s potential as a safe-haven asset similar to gold.

The growing popularity of Bitcoin futures and institutional acceptance of a heretofore denigrated asset will also vindicate such opinions.

By lunchtime trading Bitcoin stands at $7,924.81, a weekly rise of 14.21 per cent.

FURTHER READING: Ex-Bakkt CEO to oversee key US financial regulator

FURTHER READING: JP Morgan seeks full control of its China futures business

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