Metascarcity and Bitcoins future

The problem with writing about Bitcoin is that the subject has become so emotional. The very name inspires triumph, greed, resentment, or fury. Triumph from those handful of hodlers (yes, really) who are watching the destiny they long foretold actually come true before those eyes. Greed from those hundreds of thousands of newbies who just bought in. Those two groups are, of course, bitcoin believers.

Resentment from those who wish they were hodlers, or who had what would be millions of dollars’ worth today pass through their hands back in the early days. (As someone enmeshed in the outskirts of the San Francisco hacker scene I know more than a few of those.) And fury from those for whom Bitcoin represents tech bros busy fiddling with some kind of bullshit libertarian Internet money while all around us Rome is burning:

Those people are, to understate, bitcoin skeptics. But wait, it gets worse! Bitcoin doesn’t just inspire strong emotions, it also seems to attract vast hordes of EDPs. (Emotionally Disturbed Persons; a term of art among the NYPD, according to an ex-cop friend.) The bad faith, and (generally correct) assumption of bad faith, among bitcoin conversationalists on Reddit is really something even for Reddit. Even many of the cryptorati are, shall we say, not always exactly redolent of good faith.

But let’s at least try to take a step back from the emotional minefield of day-to-day valuations, and difficult personalities, and take a long-view look at Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Even their most vicious critic would have to admit that they have had a truly extraordinary run over the last eight years. A good question to ask is: where will Bitcoin be a decade from now?

The usual answers are “worth trillions, taking over the world’s entire financial system”; “a disused, half-forgotten, especially wasteful fad, the Pet Rock meets Ponzi scheme of the twenty-teens”; “banned, illegal, used only by criminals and in rogue nations, hence mostly worthless”; and “basically entirely replaced by some better, more efficient, 2.0 cryptocurrency.”

So let’s ask a few more interesting questions:

Is permissionless programmable money a fad which will go away? I really don’t think so. Programmable money is too useful for people to give up on entirely, and permissionless money would now be very, very difficult to ban. (Transactions can be fully anonymous, and while you could ban exchanges, exchanges are not actually necessary any more.) It might possibly settle into a relatively minor niche, but it’s not going away.

Is Bitcoin going to become the dominant global currency for daily transactions? I really, really don’t think that’s going to happen either, for numerous reasons, some of which I can’t believe I actually have to spell out to Bitcoin true believers, such as: Bitcoin is deflationary and a little inflation is actually not a bad thing; fiat may technically be a four-letter word but only libertarians think it’s an obscenity, and fiat currencies are not “backed by nothing,” they’re backed by the strength of the economies they denominate; governments are extremely powerful entities who get to dictate much of the future within their borders; most people don’t actually want to use Bitcoin, and there’s no real reason for them to start; credit and cryptocurrencies are, as noted bear and former blockchain COO Preston Byrne points out currently a very bad and dangerous combination, and will never be the best of bedfellows; etc etc etc.

Will financial institutions make more and more use of blockchains and programmable money? Well, yeah. To pick a single very simple example: a credit card transaction involves five different parties, most of whom maintain their own separate copy of the transaction in their own database; it would be more efficient in many ways to use a shared database; a blockchain is actually quite a good type of shared database to use for this kind of transactional behavior; blockchain technology is now widely available.

Will financial institutions around the world wind up using Bitcoin as the global settlement currency? Almost certainly not. Why would they? The big selling point of Bitcoin compared to another distributed system is that it’s permissionless. Major financial institutions are quite comfortable with requiring permission; in fact they very much prefer it. (This is why the “intranet vs. Internet” analogy does not apply, unless Bitcoin becomes everyone’s day-to-day currency, which, again, nuh-uh.)

Will Bitcoin be replaced by a better cryptocurrency? This, if you ask me, is the most interesting question here, the one whose answer is not obvious. What Bitcoin has introduced to the world is, essentially, digital scarcity — but you’ll notice that there are a whole lot of blockchains and cryptocurrencies out there now … in short, ironically, we are seeing something of a glut of scarcity. Other chains can do things which Bitcoin can’t; ZCash’s powerful cryptographic anonymity, Ethereum’s Turing-complete scripting language. More chains are coming online every month. Is it really so unlikely that Bitcoin will be supplanted?

…Actually, yes, is my answer, but with a caveat.

First, Bitcoin is a complete, complex, highly engineered cryptographic, economic, and software system and network, now thoroughly battle- and time-tested, with enormous mindshare and a thriving ecosystem. Betting on some new idea with a whitepaper is a bit like deciding that a dude folding paper airplanes for kids will one day beat Boeing; maybe, but awfully unlikely. Second, thanks to the immense — horrifyingly immense — number of watts poured into it by miners every hour, it is, by far, the scarcest of all our digital scarcities.

That second point is a little wobbly, though. First, Bitcoin’s power consumption is a big and growing problem, and any true believer who pretends it isn’t is delusional. Yes, the estimate that made the rounds recently is probably wildly off, but as its valuation grows, its power consumption will grow too, as miners are more and more incentivized. This is very bad PR, and new initiatives like the Lightning Network won’t help (though the halving of block rewards will.) Second, even if Bitcoin succeeds, as Rusty Russell points out, people will want to change it e.g. to add a little inflation to its limit of 21 million coins, and I think it’s much more likely that they’ll succeed than he does.

On the gripping hand, though, if Ethereum’s mooted move to Proof-of-Stake (which essentially replaces the cryptographic number-crunching those miners perform with game theory) proves that PoS actually works, or if Bram Cohen’s Chia takes off … well, then I can certainly imagine a future in which Bitcoin’s pre-eminence is threatened. (I don’t usually write about vaporware but Cohen’s previous paper airplane was responsible for about a quarter of all Internet traffic for a decade, so I’m willing to make an exception here.)

So what are we left with? Permissionless cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin will possibly-to-likely remain the most prominent, aren’t going away, but will be used in limited albeit significant circumstances: as digital gold; as an international transfer currency for individuals and small businesses; to skirt and avoid the law and the taxman; but not really on an everyday basis, except in nations whose own currencies have been seriously debased. Does that mean its current valuation is justified in the long term? I can give you a very firm answer for that: ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

Disclosure, since it seems requisite: I mostly avoid any financial interest, implicit or explicit, long or short, in any cryptocurrency, so that I can write about them sans bias. I do own precisely one bitcoin, though, which I purchased a couple of years ago because I felt silly not owning any while I was advising a (since defunct) Bitcoin-based company. Furthermore I am the CTO of the consultancy HappyFunCorp, and we are building a nonzero number of blockchain projects, so I suppose there’s some implicit indirect interest there, if you squint.

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Why You Should Learn How To Invest In Bitcoin

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Mens Rights Activists: Use Bitcoin to Hide Money From Your Future Ex-Wife

As bitcoins value shoots up, members of fringe anti-woman movements are advising each other to use the cryptocurrency to hide money during a divorce.

Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency, has skyrocketed in value this year, with the the price of one coin soaring past $15,000 this month. But some of bitcoins user base, which skews overwhelming male, is more worried about losing the newly valuable coins to their spouses than a market crash. For years, a subset of so-called mens rights activists have advocated pouring money into bitcoin, to hide it during divorce proceedings. Now, with the spotlight on bitcoin, lawyers are catching on.

I have a feeling its not going to be too long before I get one of these cases, divorce attorney David Badanes said of dividing bitcoin in a divorce case. But inevitably, he said, a divorcing spouse is going to try hiding their money in bitcoin, to avoid paying alimony.

Lets say I was getting divorced, and I had some bitcoin, he said. Maybe no one would know about it except me. The way its structured, its very easy to conceal.

Marital attorneys have been warning of bitcoin-complicated divorces for years.

Nearly one-third of individuals who combine their finances with their significant others have deceived their partner about money, a 2015 article titled A Bit-ter Divorce: Using Bitcoin to Hide Marital Assets in a University of North Carolina law journal claims (PDF). Bitcoins anonymity, combined with its capability for quick bitcoin transfers between wallets, makes hiding marital assets easier for spouses.

Thats a polite version of advice thats circulated forums for the so-called mens rights movement for years.

Mens rights activists and their message boards are obsessively concerned with alleged anti-male biases in divorce court (a concern that would appear moot next to the movements primary complaint: that women will not marry them). On a subreddit for Blackpill, an extreme arm of the mens rights movement, a Redditor advised readers earlier this year to dump their money into bitcoin so that you can divorce rape-proof your assets in the event that your wife divorces you and decides to steal half your shit.

(Divorce rape being the communitys term for dividing ones assets during a divorce. A number of the movements adherents are not opposed to actual rape.)

In 2013, bitcoin forum users were outraged over a users post, which claimed a cheating ex-wife was trying to seize a mans bitcoins in divorce court. After several pages of vaguely or explicitly sexist anger, the original poster admitted that they had been trolling, and the story was fiction.

Even legitimate bitcoin publications wrote guides to using the cryptocurrency in a divorce.

With Bitcoin, Hiding Assets in Divorce Is Risky, But It Pays, the headline of a 2016 article on the cryptocurrency website CoinTelegraph warned.

Fables of greedy bitcoin spouses and advice for hiding the cryptocurrency seem to skew toward an overwhelmingly male audience.

Bitcoin is anonymous by design. But studies of its demographics suggest most buyers are men. In a 2015 survey by cryptocurrency site CoinDesk, over 90 percent of respondents identified as male. The website Coin Dance uses Google Analytics to track the genders of people clicking on bitcoin content. This week, 96.57 percent of those users were male, according to the Google data.

Now, between increasingly fervent posts about protecting their bitcoins, some fans claim their anti-alimony tactics have paid off.

My ex wife used to make fun of my Bitcoin. She thought it was sooooooo stupid just like everything else I talked about, one Reddit user posted this week. He claimed he included a clause in their divorce agreement that barred her from his bitcoin, and that she recently mentioned bitcoins again in his presence.

So instead I took the opportunity to tell her its now worth 16k. I then laughed the heartiest laugh I have ever laughed right in her fucking face. We got divorced before Bitcoin blew up and she cant touch my fucking bitcoins! Nice house, babe. I got paid for that and now Im getting paid by the best currency ever created! Fuck her. TO THE MOON!!!!!!

But with increased scrutiny on bitcoin, lawyers and judges will be more likely to look for spouses hiding their assets in the coin, Badanes said. He predicts the next generation of swindlers will try hiding their money in lesser-known cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is getting all the press, so to speak, he said. But I think somebody whos really savvy may go for the ones that are not so prevalent.

Some of those other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum have attracted a devoted following of their own, while others work like legally dubious penny stocks, debuting daily. Its like playing whack-a-mole, Badanes said of keeping track of the new cryptocurrencies.

When one Brooklyn law firm learned that a divorcing couple was trying to split their bitcoin, the firm asked one of the divorcing spouses to pay their $5,085 retainer fee in bitcoin. The spouse posted the lawyers letter on Reddit, where the law firms official account confirmed the letter as legitimate.

Two months later, that bitcoin is worth nearly $20,000.

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One bitcoin is now worth $10,000

It happened. One bitcoin is now worth $10,000.

The milestone was hit on international exchanges earlier in the day (where prices are normally a few percent higher) and was just crossed on U.S exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini a few minutes ago.

This comes two days after bitcoin hit $9k, and eight days after it crossed $8k.

This $10,000 marks a bull rally essentially never before seen in modern financial markets. For perspective, bitcoin is now up 1,258% over the past year, with the cumulative value of all cryptocurrencies up 2,174% to a total of $316B. Bitcoin alone currently represents about 54% of this total market cap.

BTC 1y price graph, from

It’s a strange time in bitcoin land. There’s never been an asset, with the exception possibly being Tulips, that’s risen so much in such a short amount of time. So without any precedent or way to assign a “book value” to the currency, no one really knows what to think or do.

Some say this is the nascent start of a trillion dollar industry and the biggest thing to happen in technology since the internet was invented. Some think that bitcoin will replace gold and U.S dollars and every monetary instrument in between. Yet others say that this is the biggest speculatory bubble the world has ever seen, and that bitcoin will crash to zero tomorrow.

And of course there’s the majority of us who think something in between, or really just don’t know what to think. It’s hard enough to predict how technology will develop, and even harder when you add the emotions attached with trying to independently value and assess a tradable, liquid asset like bitcoin.

So the question likely on your mind right now…what’s next?

No one knows. Even the most passionate cryptocurrency believers admit that we’re very likely in a bubble, and that some type of correction will happen. Of course no one knows if this will be a 20% or 2,000% correction, or if it will even happen at all. But don’t be surprised if it eventually happens on some scale.

But despite the fact most of us can’t open Twitter or turn on CNBC without hearing about bitcoin, it’s adoption is still relatively small. Many Americans still have no idea what a bitcoin is, what it does or how to purchase one. The same goes for Wall Street, and even though there have been over 100 cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds opened in the last year many institutional investors still haven’t take a stake in bitcoin.

So this could just be the beginning. Or the end. Either way, this milestone is a perfect time to step back and look just how crazy the last year has been in the world of cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin Futures Deliver Wild Ride as Debut Brings Rally, Halts

Bitcoin has landed on Wall Street.

Futures on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency surged as much as 26 percent in their debut session on Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s exchange, triggering two temporary trading halts designed to calm the market. Initial volume exceeded dealers’ expectations, while traffic on Cboe’s website was so heavy that it caused delays and temporary outages. The website’s problems had no impact on trading systems, Cboe said. Bitcoin’s spot price rose.

“It is rare that you see something more volatile than bitcoin, but we found it: bitcoin futures,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia.

The launch of futures on a regulated exchange is a watershed for bitcoin, whose surge this year has captivated everyone from mom-and-pop speculators to Wall Street trading firms. The Cboe contracts, soon to be followed by similar offerings from CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc., should make it easier for mainstream investors to bet on the cryptocurrency’s rise or fall.

Bitcoin wagers have until now been mostly limited to venues with little or no oversight, deterring institutional money managers and exposing some users to the risk of hacks and market breakdowns. About 20 trading firms actively participated, Cboe Chairman Ed Tilly said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

QuickTake: You Can Trade Bitcoin Futures. But Should You?

Bitcoin futures expiring in January were 18 percent higher at $17,710 as of 12:25 p.m. in New York from an opening level of $15,000, on 3,561 contracts traded.

“It was smooth, and bitcoin traders don’t seem to be put off by futures,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst in London at online trading firm Oanda. “There was a fear that short selling would have an adverse impact on price, but we haven’t seen that yet.”

The spot price climbed 4.7 percent to $16,383 from the Friday 5 p.m. close in New York, according to the composite price on Bloomberg.

The roughly $1,300 difference reflects not only the novelty of the asset but also the difficulty of using the cash-settled futures to trade against the spot, strategists said.

“In a normal, functioning market, good old arbitrage would settle this,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, Denmark, said by email. “If they were deliverable you could arbitrage the life out of it.”

Proponents of regulated bitcoin derivatives say the contracts will increase market transparency and boost liquidity, but skeptics abound. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has called bitcoin a “fraud,” while China’s government has cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges this year. The Futures Industry Association — a group of major banks, brokers and traders — said this month that contracts in the U.S. were rushed without enough consideration of the risks.

So far though, trading has kicked off without any major hiccups.

Dealers said volume was high for a new contract, even though it was tiny relative to more established futures. And the trading halts took effect just as Cboe had outlined in its rules. Transactions stopped for two minutes after a 10 percent gain from the opening price, and for five minutes after a 20 percent jump. Another five-minute halt will take effect if the rally extends to 30 percent, Cboe said in a notice on its website.

“It was pretty easy to trade,” Joe Van Hecke, managing partner at Chicago-based Grace Hall Trading LLC, said in a telephone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina. “I think you’ll see a robust market as time plays out.”

For now, Cboe futures account for a tiny slice of the world’s bitcoin-related bets. The notional value of contracts traded in the first eight hours totaled about $40 million. Globally, about $1.1 billion of bitcoin traded against the U.S. dollar during the same period, according to

Some people who would like to trade futures are having a hard time accessing the market because not all brokers are supporting it initially, said Garrett See, chief executive officer of DV Chain. Participation may also be limited because of higher capital requirements and tighter risk limits, See said.

“We’re in the early stages here, and there’s not enough professional liquidity from the big market makers who can provide depth and hold in the movements,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda Corp. “It’s going to be a learning curve.”

It’s been painful for investors stuck on the sidelines. This year alone, bitcoin is up more than 17-fold. The surge has been driven largely by demand from individuals, with technical obstacles keeping out most big money managers like mutual funds.

The new derivatives contracts should thrust bitcoin more squarely into the realm of regulators, banks and institutional investors. Both Cboe and CME on Dec. 1 got permission to offer the contracts after pledging to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that the products don’t run afoul of the law, in a process called self-certification.

QuickTake: All about bitcoin, blockchain and the crypto world

Not everyone is happy with the roll out. Exchanges failed to get enough feedback from market participants on margin levels, trading limits, stress tests and clearing, the Futures Industry Association said this month. In November, Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers Group Inc., wrote an open letter to CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, arguing that bitcoin’s large price swings mean its futures contracts shouldn’t be allowed on platforms that clear other derivatives.

Still, Interactive Brokers is offering its customers access to the futures, with greater restrictions. The firm’s clients won’t be able to go short, and Interactive’s margin requirement, or how much investors have to set aside as collateral, will be at least 50 percent. That’s a stricter threshold than both Cboe’s and CME’s.

QuickTake Q&A: Understanding bitcoin’s rapid price rise

The start of futures trading is an important milestone for bitcoin’s shift from the fringes of finance toward the mainstream, but it could be some time before the cryptocurrency becomes a key part of investor portfolios — if it ever does.

“You never say never,” David Riley, who helps oversee $57 billion as head of credit strategy at BlueBay Asset Management LLP in London, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “But I do think we’re quite some way from making cryptocurrencies even a relatively small part of some of the funds we manage at the moment.”

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    Facebook payout turns Winklevoss twins into first Bitcoin billionaires

    The twin brothers who claim Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook are now Bitcoin billionaires.

    Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss used the cash they won from a lawsuit against Facebook and invested it in the volatile cryptocurrency, grabbing an astonishing 1 percent of the currency’s 2013 dollar value. Four years later and the $11 million they invested is now worth more than $1 billion after Bitcoin exploded past $10,000 last week. One Bitcoin is now valued at $11,276, according to Coindesk.

    The twins are believed to be the first investors to become billionaires off Bitcoin, though they’ve never sold a single unit. If you’re not familiar, Bitcoin is a decentralized form of digital money that isn’t regulated by any banks or government. It uses cryptography techniques to ensure secure transactions and control the creation of new units.

    The pair made headlines in 2004 when they sued Facebook (and Mark Zuckerberg), alleging the CEO stole their idea to create the popular social media site, an event later dramatized in the film The Social Network. The twins initially won $65 million in 2008 before settling with $160 million in a 2010 lawsuit.

    Bitcoin has turned many early investors into millionaires but the Winklevoss twins are among the few current investors with a 10-figure amount. The two believe the cryptocurrency has yet to reach its ceiling.

    “If Bitcoin is a better gold or seen as a type of gold-like asset, then it could be in the trillions on a market cap,” Tyler Winklevoss told CNNMoney in 2015. “We do feel those are very real possibilities.”

    H/T the Verge

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    Bitcoin: UK and EU plan crackdown amid crime and tax evasion fears

    Cryptocurrency close to record high despite news Treasury plans to end traders anonymity

    The UK and other EU governments are planning a crackdown on bitcoin amid growing concerns that the digital currency is being used for money laundering and tax evasion.

    The Treasury plans to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bring them in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation. Traders will be forced to disclose their identities, ending the anonymity that has made the currency attractive for drug dealing and other illegal activities.

    Under the EU-wide plan, online platforms where bitcoins are traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions. The UK government is negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive to ensure firms activities are overseen by national authorities.

    The Treasury said: We are working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.


    What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment?

    Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency” a decentralised tradable digital asset. Whether it’s a bad investment is the $97bn question (literally, since that’s the current value of all bitcoins in existence). Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it’s hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.

    The rules are expected to come into effect in the next few months. The Treasury said digital currencies could be used to enable and facilitate cybercrime. It added: There is little current evidence of them being used to launder money, though this risk is expected to grow.

    The bosses of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have criticised bitcoin as a vehicle to commit fraud and other crimes. But Sir Jon Cunliffe, a deputy governor of the Bank of England, last week said the digital currency was too small to pose a systemic threat to the global economy. He also cautioned that bitcoin investors needed to do their homework.

    Bitcoin was trading at $11,566 on Monday. It hit a fresh record high of $11,800 on Sunday but fell to $10,554 on news of the regulatory crackdown.

    zerohedge (@zerohedge)

    Reason For Bitcoin Sudden Plunge Revealed: UK Plans Regulatory Crackdown On Cryptocurrencies

    December 3, 2017

    The Labour MP John Mann, a member of the House of Commons Treasury select committee, suggested MPs would look into the regulation of virtual currencies.

    He told the Daily Telegraph: These new forms of exchange are expanding rapidly and weve got to make sure we dont get left behind thats particularly important in terms of money laundering, terrorism or pure theft.

    It would be timely to have a proper look at what this means. It may be that we want speed up our use of these kinds of thing in this country, but that makes it all the more important that we dont have a regulatory lag.

    Stephen Barclay, the economic secretary to the Treasury, set out the governments plans in a written parliamentary answer in October. The UK government is currently negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation, which will result in these firms activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas.

    The government supports the intention behind these amendments. We expect these negotiations to conclude at EU level in late 2017 or early 2018.

    Follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk, or sign up to the daily Business Today email here.

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    Having Bitcoin Is The New 6 Feet Tall

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    Bitcoin futures are now tradable on the CBOE

    Bitcoin futures trading on CBOE, the world’s largest futures exchange, just launched at 5pm CT.

    Within a minute of the launch bitcoin spiked about 10% from ~$14,700 all the way up to $16,200 before settling a few minutes later to around $15,500, up about 5%. Now an hour after launching the actual price of bitcoin is still up, trading around $15,350.

    Currently the settlement price of the January 1st, 2018 futures contract is pegging the digital currency’s future price at $15,700 with relatively little volume being traded. Each contract is pegged at one bitcoin, meaning volume exchanged has totaled about $7.7M with actual dollars traded being less since the contract only requires a 30% margin requirement.

    The circuit breaker was hit at least once after trading started, which stops trading for 2 minutes after a 10% move and 5 minutes after a 20% move up or down.

    516 contracts have traded for the January settlement date, with only a couple of contracts for the March 2017 settlement date have traded so far.

    CBOE’s website went down as futures trading launched, but this was mainly because of a spike in interest and not necessarily trading volume. Trades need to be made through brokerage platforms, so CBOE’s site really only provides quotes and information and not the functionality to actually trade options.

    In a statement provided to TechCrunch, CBOE said “due to heavy traffic on our website, visitors to may find that it is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable.  All trading systems are operating normally.”. 

    Regardless, volume has still been low in the 30 minutes since options launched.

    While there’s a chance activity will spike tomorrow when the trading week starts, so far this volume is much less than most expected.

    As a refresher, CBOE is launching three futures contracts, with the settlement price being bitcoin’s trading price on January 1st, February 1st and March 1st, respectably. The CME group will launch their futures product later in December, and as of now these two products will be the only way for investors to trade the digital currency without actually holding it themselves.

    Many think that the futures product will help stabilize the price of bitcoin, as well as hasten its adoption by Wall Street. Others think it’s a sign regulators are easing their view on the digital currency, which could lead to approval for future products like a bitcoin ETF.

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    A Boy Asked His Bitcoin-investing Dad For 1…

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