>> A major step towards the mainstream for Bitcoin Sunday, with futures debuting on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world's biggest market for derivatives. Trading for January edged high to $20,000 before slipping below 19 overnight. It comes a week after another big exchange began trading futures in Bitcoin. Investors view both launches as strides forward for the cryptocurrency, as Reuters Swati Pandey explains.
>> Earlier, only a small group of people were trading in them, people who understood Bitcoins. Now the market has broadened to vast variety of people. There is some institutional interest as well. And it is expected that, as trading gets through, more institutional investors will get in, and more money will flow into trading.
Secondly, you don't need to own Bitcoins to trade in futures, because exchanges are settling them in US dollars in cash. So even if you don't own Bitcoins, you can still trade them in futures.>> Sunday's launch was lukewarm compared to a week ago, when the price of Bitcoin surged nearly 20%.
But analysts say they don't take it as a sign the currency's infamous rally is slowing down.>> There is still a lot of interest, and there is still a lot of backers and proponents of Bitcoin who are putting prices higher, who are still buying Bitcoins, and who still believe in the technology.
We should also mindful of the fact that this is a week where trading volumes are generally thin, because a lot of people are on holidays.>> Bitcoin turns ten next year, the world's first successful digital currency. Prices have skyrocketed from a mere $1,000 last January, to a record-high of nearly 20 times that on Sunday.