Snow greets London this morning on an historic day when bitcoin enters a trillions dollar market with the launch of regulated futures, opening access to institutional investors, including casino banks.
A celebratory mood in this space won’t be met with jingle bell singing or pomp and show at CBOE. “There are not going to be many people in the office,” someone from CBOE says without suggesting where they might go.
“There won’t be any ceremony, no champagne,” they add. “It’s going to happen quietly, a switch flipping.”
A flippening? Futures have not even opened yet and they already down with the memes. But what should we call it this time, the dollar flippening?
“You are going to open up the market to a whole lot of people who aren’t currently in bitcoin,” Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, says.
But those people seemingly have no clue what to make of it. “This is completely unknown territory,” Frederick adds. Yet, what he does seem to know is that volatility may be reduced in the next few months, or as crypto traders may say, bitcoin will be tamed.
Perhaps, these futures are fiat settled so bitcoins won’t be touched at all throughout the process. They can go long or short as they please without affecting supply and demand.
Gold people hate them. They even accuse them of all sorts, including artificially keeping prices down. But even base gold is a trillions dollar market and actual bitcoin remain at a very limited 21 million, which constantly goes down due to lost coins, potentially one day reaching effectively zero.
So futures will have to operate within the laws of supply and demand for the base coin, but some of the demand that may have gone towards actual BTC may go towards these simple numbers on the screen.
However, that demand could not be accessed at all until later today, with new global markets opening. Something which may pave the way for other financial instruments, including a bitcoin ETF.
The eight year old asset, therefore, is growing up, entering the big league, but whether those traders with billions of dollars in their portfolios sway towards bullish or bearish remains unknown.
A slim majority of our readers seem to think bitcoin’s price will spike, while 30% think it will crash. Interestingly, some 17% think it will be a borish sideways event.
If it is sideways then at least everyone will get some sleep, but whatever happens in this historic day, it makes one wonder of the age we live in where some pure piece of code gets traded through some numbers on a screen.
And it reminds one just how far this invention has come, from a dismissed unworkable currency in 2011, to now mainstream and Wall Street.
One wonders whether it is really just the beginning of a digital revolution which may transform all aspects, including money itself.
And makes one think that regardless of whether bitcoin has become what its early supporters hoped, or has instead transformed into a speculative commodity, what it has achieved is worldwide recognition of a technological breakthrough, which is now worthy of being traded in global markets.
For many years that was very uncertain, and even in 2014, the then lead developer of bitcoin called it an experiment. But now, that pilot, experimental, testing phase might be over. With a new dawn arriving on this snowy day when bitcoin, and the crypto space more widely, enjoys an early Christmas.