Bitcoin futures finally began trading on Sunday night, and it seems as though the whole investing world was watching.
Here are the top three things we learned about Bitcoin futures from Day One of trading.
1. Don't be surprised by technical glitches.
As Bitcoin futures went live, CBOE's website became inaccessible as it launched its XBT futures contract. It wasn't just CBOE which suffered, but Coinbase and a number of other exchanges also went down, too.
Alexandre Tabbakh, CEO of PUBLIQ, a blockchain-powered distributed media platform, says the demand for futures and derivatives with bitcoin as the underlying asset is high, as shown by the troubles encountered by the CBOE website because of the large amounts of traffic.
Another avid Bitcoin follower also tweeted:
#Bitcoin futures launched 15 min ago. @CBOE site is down. @coinbase is down. Lots of exchange are down. Guess they do not know how to scale. #Bitcoin network is up and has not experienced any downtime. Go figure. Go $BTC.— Trace Mayer (@TraceMayer) December 10, 2017
2. Expect increased volatility, and be cautious about shorting.
Prices will continue to fluctuate this is not news but hey, keep your cool.
Mark Smargon, co-founder of Colu, a digital wallet that uses blockchain technology, says that shorting Bitcoin is a risky business -- there are no real precedents and it could just as easily climb 10 times from here as fall that amount.
"The main effect right now is a major increase in Bitcoin trading volume that is expected to rise even more," Smargon says. "It's hard to learn something from a few hours of trading -- there needs to be some time to learn the market dynamics but hopefully we will see improved stability of the price with the increase in trading volume."
Tabbakh agrees that the first day of Bitcoin futures was not only about shorting bitcoin and betting against it, as some pessimists were expecting, since the price spiked one more time. "There is, without doubt, an enormous interest from institutional clients: Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) will trade Bitcoin futures for their clients while Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) won a patent for a cryptocurrency exchange," says Tabbakh.
In the first 18 minutes of Bitcoin futures being launched, only 230 contracts traded.
Quick update on #Bitcoin Futures as Cboe website has crashed: Price of Jan2018 contract fluctuates around $16k on low volume. Only 230 contracts traded in first 18 trading mins. pic.twitter.com/ifPBOiaHcw— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) December 10, 2017
3. Don't necessarily believe the naysayers.
Over the past few months, we have seen a strong appetite for Bitcoin products. Traditional institutions and bankers will continue to resist the Bitcoin movement, but behind the scenes there are rumors that many are dabbling in cryptocurrency on the sly.
J.C. Parets, the founder and president of Eagle Bay Capital, tweeted on Sunday:
I was with a futures broker last night and he was showing me all the emails from every major bank that he trades for telling him not to take any orders on #bitcoin futures. The banks are scared to death. I love that$BTC.X $BCOIN— J.C. Parets (@allstarcharts) December 10, 2017
And at least some think that the price of Bitcoin will continue to rise higher.
Slavena Savcheva, co-founder and head of business development and marketing for Estonia-based CrowdWiz, says "the bullish launch of Bitcoin futures tells us the market expects that price will keep going higher. The February and March contracts are traded at well over $19,000. The fact that CBOE's website suffered delays last night due to heavy traffic only shows the huge amount of interest. It probably won't be too long before we see futures on other major cryptocurrencies like Ether, Ripple, Dash, etc."
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