Tags: bitcoin | CME | futures | cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Climbs as Futures Trading Fails to Unleash Short Sales

Bitcoin Climbs as Futures Trading Fails to Unleash Short Sales

Monday, 18 December 2017 09:19 AM EST

The arrival of a new futures contract that makes it easier to place short bets on bitcoin wasn’t enough to undercut the cryptocurrency’s march toward $20,000.

The digital token was up 6.9 percent from its Friday New York close at 8:48 a.m. local time, returning toward a $19,511 record high reached just minutes before CME Group Inc. began offering futures Sunday evening. The new contract for January delivery was little changed at $19,340.

The CME derivative broadens the market for institutional traders and makes it easier to sell the cryptocurrency short. Still, impediments remain to betting on a dive. The Chicago-based futures exchange, the world’s biggest, required a 47 percent initial margin, or almost $50,000, for opening trades on a five-bitcoin future.

Settlement terms are spurring some participants to question whether futures will move fully in line with the underlying asset.

“In theory, it does open it up to shorting opportunities, but as always, the devil is in the detail,” said Jeremy Goldwyn, a managing director at Hong Kong-based commodities and financial futures brokerage Bands Financial Ltd. “I’m not totally convinced that this offers a clear enough link to enable people to play the short side and still reap the financial benefit at settlement.”

The CME contract, like the futures offered by Chicago-based rival Cboe Global Markets Inc. a week ago, requires cash settlement against a CME-fixed reference price on expiration. That’s in contrast to settling with physical delivery of bitcoin, which might allow a trader to lock in their upside exposure.

Basis Risk

“People have to be comfortable with the reference price of the contract, and there may be a basis risk,” Goldwyn said, referring to the potential for non-synchronized price movements.

Even so, the CME debut was carried out smoothly, with the contract’s volatility staying below its circuit-breaker thresholds. The Cboe contract was hit with trading pauses on the first day.

Of course, potential shorts may just be nervous about getting caught on the wrong side of 2017’s hottest asset. It’s up almost 2,000 percent this year, with no sign that the parabolic rise is coming to an end.

“Futures have definitely opened bitcoin up to shorting opportunities,” said John Butler, head of wealth services for Toronto-based GoldMoney Inc., which offers bitcoin and gold custodian and storage services. “But shorting something with this much momentum would be brave.”

© Copyright 2024 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.


StreetTalk
The digital token was up 6.9 percent from its Friday New York close at 8:48 a.m. local time, returning toward a $19,511 record high reached just minutes before CME Group Inc. began offering futures Sunday evening.
bitcoin, CME, futures, cryptocurrency
390
2017-19-18
Monday, 18 December 2017 09:19 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
Get Newsmax Text Alerts
TOP

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved