Federal regulator gives OK for bitcoin futures to trade

CME to launch bitcoin futures trading on December 18

Bitcoin rebounds to $10 500 after US regulator approves futures

The move also comes amid a time of climbing prices of bitcoin.

Bitcoin derivatives will likely attract more heavyweight investors, which will gradually reduce the cryptocurrency's volatility, as well as increase its liquidity and steady its exchange rate with fiat currencies, said Wang Liren, senior researcher at the China Blockchain Research Alliance.

The move is clearly meant to steal the thunder from fellow Chicago derivatives exchange CME, which announced on Friday that it will list bitcoin futures on December 18.

Cboe Global Markets Inc will launch trading in its bitcoin futures contract on December 10, just over a week ahead of rival CME Group Inc.

The race between the two rivals could determine which exchange establishes the dominant bitcoin futures contract. Mt. Gox, which once processed about 70 percent of sales, was hacked several times culminating in the loss of about 850,000 bitcoin in 2014. But given the massive losses involved and the technicalities of acquiring the currency, many mainstream investors have been shy to involve themselves in currency trading on the unregulated exchanges. Nearly all darknet drug markets rely on bitcoin or similar currencies to facilitate payment, and it has become a backbone for ransomware attacks.

The first US bitcoin futures will start trading next week, as dueling Chicago futures exchanges seek to cash in on surging investor interest in the digital currency. Due to its volatility, bitcoin futures will be subject to higher margin levels and intraday price limits, according to the CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

But others said greater regulatory scrutiny would help.

Cboe is working with online brokerages to allow retail investors to start trading its bitcoin futures as soon as possible, a spokeswoman for the company said.

The agreement with the exchanges does not mean the CFTC endorses the digital currency or the various trading products, he said.

One of the key points about bitcoin futures trading is that there will be no handling of bitcoin at all and the futures will be cash-settled.

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