Bitcoin's futures market debut went off with a bang late last night with the cryptocurrency surging more than 20 per cent and crashing the exchange's website.
Chicago's Cboe Global Markets' website went down twice due to heavy traffic as the price of the January bitcoin contract rose from an opening price of around $15,000 to as high as $18,850 in volatile trading.
More than 2,600 contracts had changed hands at the time of writing.
Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said the initial reaction topped expectations.
"So far, it seems professional investors aren’t willing to bet against bitcoin, despite the many warnings of a bubble that will burst soon. Many traders aren’t even interested in the price direction, but the listing of the futures contract on Cboe and later next week on the CME, will provide them an arbitrage trading opportunity due to the vast pricing differences.
"However, the arbitrage trading will lead to improved price efficiency and probably less volatility. After volatility settles down, the focus will return to the price direction," Sayed said.
Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at Interactive Investor added:
Anything that adds to the asset’s accessibility and legitimacy and reduces security risk often associated with cryptos will improve its credentials as a tradeable asset and so grow the pool of potential investors.
Opportunities to profit from such extreme market conditions, akin to the dotcom boom, are rare indeed, but inevitably come loaded with risk. However, the music may have much longer to play on this one than people think.
Bitcoin futures contracts will begin trading on CME on 18 December.
Meanwhile, bitcoin's cash price on Coindesk's aggregate index was up nearly 10 per cent at $16,505.59 this morning after a dip over the weekend.
Read more: Bitcoin just went back below $15,000