Posted by on December 10, 2017 10:19 pm
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Categories: Alternative currencies Bitcoin Blockchains Business CBOE Cboe Global Markets Chicago Board Options Exchange Coinbase Cryptocurrencies Currency Economics of bitcoin Economy Economy of Chicago Economy of the United States Exonumia Finance Foreign exchange market Friday Gemini Futures contract Futures exchange Market economics) money Numismatics TradeStation Twitter

The CBOE’s website crashed within minutes of the CBOE open on Sunday – which also marked the launch of the first bitcoin futures to trade on a major exchange… 

… while the price of a bitcoin spiked 10% in five minutes as the new contract with the ticker XBT fluctuated wildly.

The embarrassing crash happened as the entire financial world was closely watching the first historic institutionalization of bitcoin:

Shortly after the initial snafu, the CBOE tweeted that “visitors to may find site is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable” due to heavy traffic adding that “all trading systems are operating normally.”

“Given the unprecedented interest in Bitcoin, it’s vital we provide clients the trading tools to help them express their views and hedge their exposure,” said Ed Tilly, chairman and CEO of CBOE Global Markets, in a statement earlier this month. Trading in Bitcoin futures will be free through the end of December.

Despite the surging interest in what was taking place on the CBOE, a little over an hour after the launch, some 555 XBT jan 2018 futures contracts had traded – equivalent of roughly $9 million notional… 

… and while futures market depth was virtually non-existant in early trading, the bid/ask spread in the orderbook has since shrunk as depth increased, and is now “only” $50.

Indeed, as the tradestation tick chart below shows, as we expected, today’s launch is hardly euphoria bonanza some had expected.

Going further out on the curve, just one March 2018 contract has traded one hour into trading.

What is also notable, is that while at least in early trading, bitcoin futures appeared to be trading with a premium as much as $400 above cash, according to Jared Bilkre, the XBT future was trading around fair value, the Friday Gemini Index close, off of which the futures are priced.

Still, it remains to be seen if the futures and spot prices will converge, with the spread still will in the hundreds of dollars.

Meanwhile, the price of spot Bitcoin surged immediately after the 6 p.m. open, climbing about 10%, or $1,500 on GDAX to over $16,200, before giving back much of the early gains…

… as the excitement over this historic moment slowly fades away.


And while for at least one person today’s first day of trading will never be forgotten, the first documented trade appears to have been a short.

To which there was a caveat…

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