The price of bitcoins hit a new all-time high on Wednesday, surpassing $6,600 for the first time after the CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) announced that it plans to launch bitcoin futures during the fourth quarter of 2017. According to CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency has a market capitalization of over $109 billion.
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CME Chairman Terry Duffy explained why his company is planning to introduce bitcoin futures next quarter, despite the criticism cryotocurrency exchanges have received over the years.
“We are bringing forth a contract on bitcoin on the concept of people wanting to find different ways to do commerce, and we are going to put it on our regulated platform. We will have position limits, we will have different margining regime, we will have an auto trail function, we will have distribution and we will have our name behind it,” he told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”
Many investors have criticized bitcoin. JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon called it a “fraud,” and BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) CEO Larry Fink said it was an “index of money laundering.” Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner Charlie Munger four years ago told FOX Business that the company was “rat poison.”
Duffy said the CME’s goal is to ease investors’ minds about cryptocurrencies.
“What we’re here to do is to help mitigate that risk of people investing, hopefully take out some of the volatility. Bring in the natural sellers or hedgers the people who own a product, bring in the natural longs people who want to offer it up for their goods and services and then obviously bring in the speculators, and that’s what makes the futures contract tick,” he said.