The bitcoin price achieved record highs for the third consecutive day, surpassing the $6,600 mark for the first time following CME Group’s announcement that it would list bitcoin futures on its derivatives exchange.
As CCN.com reported, CME Group — the world’s largest regulated derivatives exchange — announced on Tuesday that it plans to become the first licensed U.S. trading platform to launch bitcoin futures contracts. This news caught many people off guard because CME Group had stated as recently as last month that it did not plan to list bitcoin futures within the near future. Nevertheless, the exchange operator reversed that stance, citing high demand for institutional and commercial financial products that provide investors with exposure to bitcoin.
The bitcoin price had already achieved a new high-water mark on Sunday, crossing the $6,300 threshold, and the CME Group announcement provided bitcoin with the fuel it needed to continue to scale the charts. Shortly after the announcement, the bitcoin price spiked above $6,400, and it sustained that advance throughout the remainder of the day.
Despite this rapid advance, the bitcoin price climbed even further on Tuesday, punching through $6,600 on U.S. bitcoin exchange Coinbase to reach a new all-time high of $6,619. This translates into a market cap of more than $110 billion, raising bitcoin’s dominant share of the total cryptocurrency market cap to just under 60%.
The official listing of CME Group’s bitcoin futures — slated to happen before the end of the year — will likely trigger another price rise, as well as a significant infusion of capital from Wall Street firms. Additionally, the existence of bitcoin futures contracts should enable the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to begin reviewing applications for Bitcoin ETFs, exchange-traded funds that trade in bitcoin futures contracts. These Bitcoin ETFs will be available to retail investors, will introduce further liquidity to the ecosystem and many analysts expect that their launch will cause the bitcoin price to ratchet up even further, perhaps as high as $7,500 or $10,000 within the near future.
Of course, the bitcoin price’s rapid advance in response to the announcement indicates that, to some extent, these anticipated developments have already been priced in. Consequently, the bitcoin price could see a moderate correction if regulators take a hostile stance on either the futures contracts or ETFs that trade those contracts. However, Terry Duffy, chairman and chief executive officer of CME Group, stated that the exchange operator is working closely with regulators to bring these financial products to market, and he does not expect that regulations will inhibit the exchange from launching bitcoin futures.
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