TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar probed four-week highs against the yen on Monday, underpinned by expectations of higher U.S. interest rates, while bitcoin seized the spotlight as futures of the cryptocurrency began trading.
The first bitcoin futures began trading at 6 p.m. (2300 GMT) on CBOE Global Markets Inc’s CBOE.O CBOE Futures Exchange. The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The most-traded futures contract opened at $15,460 before leaping to a high of $18,700 – a gain of 21 percent. They last stood at $17,770.
The acting governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Sunday said bitcoin appeared to be a “classic case” of a bubble.
“Regardless of what side of the debate you’re on, what’s undeniable is that the current euphoria and the extreme levels of price volatility offer the brave of heart some excellent speculative opportunities,” Stephen Innes, head of Asian trading at currency broker Oanda said in a note to clients.
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