Bitcoin smashes a new record after CME announces plans for bitcoin futures

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The announcement was big for bitcoin (Source: Getty)

Bitcoin prices have jumped to a new record high after CME Group announced plans to launch bitcoin futures by the end of the year.

The cryptocurrency rose 4.26 per cent to $6,382.88 after the announcement, according to CoinDesk's aggregate index, topping its previous high over the weekend of just over $6,300.

The new bitcoin futures contract will be cash-settled and based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which CME started in 2016. The BRR aggregates the trade flow of major bitcoin spot exchanges - Bitstamp, GDAX, itBit and Kraken - during a calculation window into the price of one bitcoin as of 4pm London time.

"Given increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets, we have decided to introduce a bitcoin futures contract," said Terry Duffy, CME group chairman and chief executive.

"As the world's largest regulated FX marketplace, CME Group is the natural home for this new vehicle that will provide investors with transparency, price discovery and risk transfer capabilities," Duffy said.

The market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies has shot up to $172bn (£130bn), with bitcoin representing more than 54 per cent of the total, or $94bn.

The bitcoin spot market has also grown to trade roughly $1.5bn in notional value each day, CME said.

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