Bitcoin is now trading on a major exchange for the first time. The digital currency launched on the CBOE futures exchange in Chicago last night.
Investors can now effectively bet on whether the price of Bitcoin will rise or fall.
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This latest news coming out of the cryptocurrency space follows the unprecedented rise in Bitcoin’s value. In the run up to its futures debut, it was trading on platforms like Coinbase for around $18,000.
Bitcoin’s introduction to the this exchange in Chicago has been seen by some as a step towards legitimising the currency.
However, Chris Ralph, chief investment officer at St James’s Place told the BBC’s Today programme that he remained cautious about the currency.
“I refuse to use the word legitimate, but it’s probably moved out of the shadows into the open,” he said. “But what I think it means is more people in the conventional investment banking market will take a look at Bitcoin.”
“It has been described as the asset class of 2017 but when we went into the year no one would have called it an asset class.”
Commenting on this news, David Emm, principal researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said: “As the use of this currency increases, it will also raise questions about how individual users can keep their crypto-savings safe and avoid paying into hackers’ wallets. One way, of course, is to always pay close attention when you make a transaction, to make sure that the wallet number listed in the ‘destination address’ line matches the one you are intending to send your coins to. Be aware that there is a difference between an invalid address and an incorrect address. In the first case, the error will be detected, and the transaction won’t be completed. In the latter, you will never see your money again.”