Investments  

Bitcoin futures break new ground for crypto-currency

Bitcoin futures break new ground for crypto-currency

A derivatives product that tracks the direction of crypto-currency bitcoin is to launch in the US.

The product will allow investors to track the performance of the virtual currency via the Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR).

The product is offered by CME Group.

In practice it means investors can gain exposure to the movements of the virtual currency without having to own any of the actual currency.

CME said the function of the derivative product is to allow investors to have greater transparency on the price of their investment.

The price of bitcoin fluctuates wildly, and CME take the view that the futures product will allow investors to understand the price they will receive for their investment prior to selling.    

The premise behind bitcoin is that there are a finite number of the crypto-currency in the world, giving bitcoin a scarcity value.

Many prominent investment professionals, such as Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan, have been scathing of the investment case for Bitcoin.

He described it as a “fraud” whose main function is in money laundering by criminals.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued a warning to investors about Bitcoin.

The price of one bitcoin has risen 750 per cent this year to $6,500 (£4,884).

David.Thorpe@ft.com