THE FLOODGATES ARE OPEN
Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
All eyes are on bitcoin futures today — even to the point that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) website crashed.
The launch of bitcoin derivatives is part of Wall Street’s nifty solution to make people more comfortable with the cryptocurrency … and to let big banks and retail investors trade bitcoin. And why wouldn’t they? The virtual currency has risen more than 1,500% this year, and about 85% just in the past two weeks, driven largely by demand from individual investors. Note that CBOE futures do not involve actual bitcoin — they’re securities that will track the price of bitcoin on Gemini, which is one of the major bitcoin exchanges.
On their first day of trading Sunday evening, bitcoin futures opened at $15,850 in New York and surged past $18,000, while bitcoin itself hovered at around $16,415. The CBOE crashed once due to volume and halted trading twice to cool volatility.
Meanwhile, the bubble chatter continues. While it appears bitcoin is gaining more mainstream acceptance, it remains very divisive. Cameron