Stunning swings in bitcoin promise start-and-stop futures sessions


By Lily Katz
Bloomberg News
Thursday, December 7, 2017

Bitcoin futures trading looks like it's going to be choppy.

The cryptocurrency's eye-popping rally would have triggered so-called circuit breakers on seven of the past 10 days, pausing or even halting trading to ensure an orderly session, based on rules planned by exchanges.

CME Group Inc. stipulates a two-minute trading pause if the price of the contract rises or falls 7 percent from the prior day's settlement price. There'd be another two-minute pause if the gap widened to 13 percent. No trades can occur at prices higher than 20 percent from the settlement.

Today would have been wild. The 7 percent threshold hit less than two hours after the session started. A few hours later 13 percent fell. Around 10:15 a.m. the 20 percent cap was hit and held for about an hour. And the price popped above that level at least six other times over the rest of the day.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. has its own rules, halting trading for two minutes if prices rise or fall 10 percent, and for five minutes at 20 percent. Cboe futures are set to start Sunday, while CME targets Dec. 18. ...

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