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Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $12,000 today, with a market capitalization of around $200 billion, according to data from CoinmarketCap. The price topped the $12,000 mark and reached $12,032 at 13:49:12 UTC. The price dipped to $11,972.10 at 14:54:12 UTC.

Bitcoin rose 4.66% in the last 24-hour period and nearly 20% in the last seven days. Bitcoin commanded 56.2% of the total crypto market today, with Ethereum holding 12.55%.

Volume was highest on the Bitfinex exchange, which traded $612.323 million in the last 24-hour period.

Futures Contracts Drive Gains

Bitcoin’s rise has been driven by the scheduled launch of a regulated futures contracts, which signal the influx of institutional investment in bitcoin and possibly other cryptocurrencies. Altcoins have also benefitted from bitcoin’s gains.

Cboe Global Markets, Inc., one of the world’s largest exchange holding companies, announced Sunday that Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE), plans to offer trading in bitcoin futures beginning at 5 p.m. CT on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, at the start of global trading hours. Monday, Dec. 11, will be the first full day of trading, and trading will be free through December. CFE futures will trade under the ticker symbol “XBT.”

Consequently, Cboe will become the first U.S. exchange to support trading for a cryptocurrency-derived futures product.

The contracts will be cash-settled, and the price will be based on the daily auction price from Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange based out of New York. Cboe will waive trading fees for these products for the duration of December.

Also read: Cboe to launch bitcoin futures trading on Sunday

CFE Pre-Empts CME

The CFE move was clearly intended to steal the thunder from fellow Chicago derivatives exchange CME, which announced Friday that it will list bitcoin futures on Dec. 18.

Terry Duffy, CME Group Chairman and CEO, previously said his company received approval from the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to list bitcoin futures and provide infrastructure around bitcoin options, derivatives, and futures contracts.

JPMorgan global markets strategist last week forecast that the introduction of bitcoin futures would legitimize cryptocurrency in the eyes of both institutional and retail investors, transforming the cryptocurrencies into “an emerging asset class.”

Following the launch of these products, many analysts believe the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will grant approval to the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) that invests in bitcoin futures contracts, potentially turning bitcoin into a mainstream financial instrument and portfolio asset.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Lester Coleman

Lester Coleman is a media relations consultant for the payments and automated retailing industries. He is available for writing and media relations assignments.