Bitcoin futures began trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) on Sunday, a move seen as a milestone for the cryptocurrency.
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In an interview with FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto, Cboe Global Markets (NASDAQ:CBOE) Chairman and CEO Ed Tilly said bitcoin’s trading debut was volatile with the exchange trading an estimated 3,000 contracts in the global session pre-U.S. open.
“Bringing new products on the marketplace is what we do. So an operational readiness leading into the launch last night went according to plan,” Tilly said.
The national value of the contracts traded in the first few hours was about $40 million against the $1.1 billion bitcoin market.
“I think it’s pretty positive,” Tilly said. “Think about never having traded this contract in a lit futures market before. There was that kind of confidence in Cboe’s systems to bring this contract up.”
In September, JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon slammed bitcoin, calling the cryptocurrency a "fraud" and saying he would fire anyone who trades bitcoin for being “stupid.”
“The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart,” Dimon said at a bank investor conference in New York.
The Cboe’s CEO said he thinks confidence in bitcoin -- and concerns over fraud -- will change over time.
“We’re in the business of being able to express that opinion, and I want to polish this point in a transparent regulated marketplace, and I think a lot of that fraud can fall away when you know your end user,” he said on FOX Business’ “CAVUTO: Coast-to-Coast.”
Tilly said Cboe is not only endorsing bitcoin but the concept of digital currency as well.
“How to take this concept of cryptocurrency standardize contract on a futures exchange that our customers already know, that’s really the movement,” he said.
Bitcoin futures will trade under the ticker symbol “XBT.” The launch follows the digital currency's dramatic price jump of more than 1,000 percent in 2017.