Volatile bit­coin soars, falls back; banks raise con­cerns

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY KEN SWEET As­so­ci­ated Press

New York – The price of bit­coin swung wildly Thurs­day, ris­ing to more than $19,000 only to fall sharply within min­utes, as both the eu­pho­ria and anx­i­ety sur­round­ing the vir­tual cur­rency es­ca­lated just days be­fore it starts trad­ing on a ma­jor U.S. ex­change.

At 3:25 p.m. EST, bit­coin was val­ued at $15,930, ac­cord­ing to Coin­base, af­ter briefly surg­ing above $19,000 Thurs­day morn­ing. At the start of the year, one worth less than $1,000.

The swings in price oc­curred as the trad­ing com­mu­nity pre­pares for bit­coin to start trad­ing on two es­tab­lished U.S. ex­changes. Fu­tures for bit­coin will start trad­ing on the Chicago Board Op­tions Ex­change on Sun­day evening and on the Chicago Mer­can­tile Ex­change a week later.

Yet the on­set of fu­tures trad­ing has parts of Wall Street con­cerned. A group of banks came out and com­plained that fed­eral reg­u­la­tors ap-

bit­coin was proved the fu­tures, which be­gin trad­ing on Sun­day, too quickly and with­out prop­erly con­sid­er­ing the risks in­her­ent in bit­coin.

The fu­tures sig­nal more main­stream ac­cep­tance of the cur­rency, but also open up bit­coin to ad­di­tional mar­ket forces. Fu­tures al­low for the short­ing of bit­coin — that is bet­ting that the price of bit­coin will go down — which presently is very dif­fi­cult to near im­pos­si­ble to do.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

The eu­pho­ria and anx­i­ety sur­round­ing bit­coin es­ca­lated days be­fore it starts trad­ing on a ma­jor U.S. ex­change.

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