Over the weekend, the CBOE began issuing bitcoin futures contracts, meaning investors can buy options predicting the price of bitcoin will either rise or fall by a certain date, making money if they guess correctly. Before now, it was very difficult to short (or put) bitcoin in order to make money off its volatile price swings. Instead, you’d have to buy the bitcoin and hope to become the next Winklevoss, assuming you don’t get robbed first.
In the first day of bitcoin futures trading, the strike price for January contracts rose 20%, but before you run out and plunk money you can’t risk losing into bitcoin futures it should be noted that Wall Street will invest in a bubble even when they know it’s a bubble. And regular people who aren’t too big to fail usually end up taking the brunt of a downturn. It’s hard to say what bitcoin’s price will do next, considering the price was breaking symbolic barriers every few hours for a while last week. To quote the aptly-titled “Crypto Through The Tulips” piece in The Economist, “The beauty of bitcoin is that its intrinsic value is impossible to determine and that makes any value plausible to true believers.”
The beauty of bitcoin is also that it is very easy to make jokes about, and Twitter has done just that, such as jokes about the volatile prices: