The price performance of the digital currency Bitcoin has once again surpassed all expectations over recent weeks. Despite the cancellation of the SegWit2x update, which would have increased the size of the blocks passed regularly around the network and thus increase transaction capacity, Bitcoin is currently trading at over USD 9,000. The price has doubled over the last two months alone. Since the beginning of the year, growth stands at a whopping 700%.
Bitcoin was given a recent boost from the announcement that one of the world’s largest futures and options exchanges, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), will bring a Bitcoin Future on to the market already by December of this year. Its rival, CBOE Global Markets, also domiciled in Chicago, has also announced its intention to offer a Bitcoin future. The final approval for both futures from the American Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is still awaited though. The CFTC already classified Bitcoin as a “commodity” in an investigation conducted in the year 2015 and has thus, in principle, already cleared the way for a future for Bitcoin.
The introduction of an exchange-traded future would be a huge step forward for Bitcoin as the crypto-currency could then potentially reach a much larger group of investors. Above all institutional investors, which are currently held back from acquiring Bitcoin on account of the complicated purchase process, would then be able to trade Bitcoin in a regulated environment. The introduction of an ETF in Bitcoin would then also be more likely. In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has up to now rejected this possibility on the grounds that Bitcoin was still in too early a stage of development. Its introduction now does appear possible within the foreseeable future.