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Bitcoin-based security bounces in CME debut

Dec 19,2017
A new security based on the price of the digital currency bitcoin is trading lower after its debut on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a week after another such security launched on a rival exchange.

The CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, opened up futures of bitcoin, which has soared in value and volatility this year, for trading on Sunday evening.

The CME futures, like the ones that CME competitor Cboe started trading last week, do not involve actual bitcoin. The CME’s futures will track an index of bitcoin prices pulled from several private exchanges. The Cboe’s futures track bitcoin prices on the particular private exchange known as Gemini.

Each contract sold on the CME is for five bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed on private exchanges this year, largely under its own momentum, piquing interest on Wall Street. The virtual currency was trading below $1,000 at the beginning of the year, and rose to more than $19,000 on some exchanges in the days leading up to its debut on the Cboe and CME.

Bitcoin was trading at $19,117.55 Monday morning on Coinbase.

The growing enthusiasm for bitcoin has raised questions over whether its value has gotten too frothy. AP