BITCOIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES
A quick guide to Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
“Cryptocurrencies” like Bitcoin went mainstream in 2017 following a decade of significant growth.
Although Bitcoin is technically not a currency, given it is not backed by a government, it is considered by its proponents as an asset class with two of the basic characteristics of money:
Firstly, Bitcoin is scarce; the laws of mathematics dictate only 21 million Bitcoin can exist.
Secondly, Bitcoin can be used as a medium of exchange because it is interchangeable and divisible. Fractional amounts, known as a “Satoshi”, represent 0.00000001 Bitcoin.
Transactions are recorded in the “blockchain” and this data file is available for public inspection.
“Mining” – confirming a block of transactions and adding them to the public record is a key concept for Bitcoin. Mining requires significant computing power and controls the introduction of new coins.
Recently the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE) have launched tradeable contracts on Bitcoin.
Bitcoin futures began trading on 10 December 2017.
Contract size: 1 Bitcoins
Underlying ticker symbol: XBT
CBOE Bitcoin futures are (USD) cash-settled futures contracts based on the Gemini auction price for Bitcoin in U.S. dollars.
For contract details and more information: Visit the Cboe website
Bitcoin futures began trading on 18 December 2017.
Contract size: 5 Bitcoins
Underlying ticker symbol: BTC
CME Bitcoin futures are (USD) cash-settled futures based on the CME CF bitcoin reference rate (BRR), which aggregates bitcoin trading activity across major bitcoin spot exchanges between 3:00pm and 4:00pm London time.
For contract details and more Information: Visit the CME website
For futures traders TradeStation Global provides the following features:
- RadarScreen: Track and rank symbols in real time based on technical and fundamental indicators
- The Matrix: An advanced order-entry, tracking and market depth window tool
- EasyLanguage: Create custom indicators and strategies, back-test and view theoretical performance results
- Chart based trading and monitoring functions