Chicago Mercantile Exchange jumps into bitcoin futures

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange started trading bitcoin futures Sunday evening, becoming the second major U.S. exchange to do so. Its competitor, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, started trading bitcoin futures last week.

According to The Associated Press, the futures were trading lower after their CME debut. By 2 a.m. Eastern time Monday, the futures contract that expires in January was at $19,440.00 after opening at $20,650. Bitcoin itself was priced at $18,928, according to cryptocurrency information provider Coindesk.

Bitcoin, the most widely known cryptocurrency, has been on a tear of late, with the price soaring more than 1,800 percent from $1,000 in January to $19,000 earlier this month. That spike has prompted many informed observers, from legendary investor Warren Buffett to Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, to call the bitcoin market a bubble.

"It is a highly speculative asset," outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week. There is "a limited need for it and substantial concerns," she added. 

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