Bitcoin buyers have been issued a “serious warning” from one of Britain’s leading financial regulators.
Soaring interest from institutional and retail investors has prompted global exchanges, such as the Cboe, to launch futures contracts. Meantime, CME Group is poised to a launch bitcoin futures contract on Sunday and a German stock exchange operator is reportedly considering whether to follow suit.
The launch of bitcoin futures contracts represents a significant step in the legitimization of cryptocurrencies, according to some market participants. Futures are derivatives, or financial instruments, that obligate a trader to either buy or sell an asset at a specified time and at a specified price.
Bitcoin bulls have frequently referenced the cryptocurrency’s scarcity value as a primary reason for its staying power. Somewhat like gold, bitcoin supply grows at glacial and ever-decreasing fixed rates with only 21 million bitcoins set to be in existence.
But while the trading of bitcoin futures on two of the world’s largest exchanges is expected to provide a layer of official oversight that had not previously existed, several leading voices have expressed skepticism.