• Bitcoin climbs as a fresh attack on USD 8,400 resistance takes price to a daily high of USD 8,580
  • CME launches fresh Bitcoin options to compete for institutional investor interest
  • Overstock CEO says the time is ripe for crypto investments

Asian traders pushed Bitcoin price up today in a renewed attempt to test and break new resistance levels as a daily high so far at USD 8,580 was recorded (CoinDesk). Europe does seem willing to continue these buying levels so far, enjoying its highest levels of price and volume in about two months.

The US will want to take credit, however, with the price boost happening only hours after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group launched its much-anticipated new products of Bitcoin options. According to reports from CoinDesk, the derivatives exchange futures contracts for Bitcoin recorded volumes on its first day of trading that surpassed rival Bakkt, who launched a few months ago after almost a year of delay.

Crypto trading firm Cumberland’s global head Chris Zuehlke said this was proof that institutional investors have been looking for more traditional risk management tools to ease their eager entry into digital assets. The interest in CME had been noted even since last week, and the first day volume does seem to provide evidence of that. Zuehlke noted:

“As with any new financial product, we expect volume will grow organically as investors get more comfortable trading it.”

The immediate impact on markets is remarkable. When Bakkt launched after a year of hype and flopped with only a trickle of contracts opened, prices dipped sharply. But thanks to CME’s new options receiving huge interest, the markets have almost immediately responded with a 4% price hike.

Trading derivatives like options, however, isn’t an actual settling of Bitcoin but of a contract that gives the holder the right to buy or sell a specific futures contract at a set price, hoping that it will hit the price on or before the option’s expiration date. Essentially, option traders are betting on a direction of price on or before a particular deadline. It is arguably an easier way to “invest” in Bitcoin without actually going through the hassle of sourcing and storing it.

Not all experts have the same theory, though. Cumberland’s other global head, for business development, Justin Chow, said that Bitcoin’s move today is actually powered by altcoins:

“While the CME BTC Options launch corresponded to the move, BTC forked coins and other altcoins that have upcoming halvings are the strongest performers.”

Meanwhile, other traditional business figures are keenly bullish on Bitcoin and crypto, with Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson saying that his bets on crypto over the last 10 years are about to enter the real world.

Speaking at the CES 2020 Digital Money Forum, Johnson, also president of crypto fund Medici Ventures, said that many from his firm’s company portfolio are already at the stage where they were delivering orders on products. Despite their advanced progress, he does still believe that early adopters will continue to drive the ecosystem. He explained:

“There will always be early adopters who take it and it will become more widespread. I think we’re in the early adopter stage of product in production, not the widespread stage quite yet.”

According to the crypto veteran, use cases for blockchain tech have become more apparent, even if the real value of the tech hasn’t become clear. He names the likes of Voatz as leaders in showing the world how blockchain-based solutions can solve existing real world problems. He said:

“It’s understanding which problems the technology solves. So, for example, in the voting space, it’s overseas voters. It’s military personnel and their families. Or it’s disabled voters where the mayor has to have a compliance mechanism to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

In the end, only when the public fully understands the tech can mass adoption truly happen. And Johnson says, it is up to companies to explain their solutions, so that people will adopt them.

 

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