The Chicago-based exchange Cboe has started trading futures for bitcoin. The rate of the cryptocurrency soared to $17,000 after falling to $13,000 at the weekend.

On 10 December at 17.00 in Chicago, bitcoin futures trading went live on the Chicago Stock Exchange Cboe. The demand of traditional traders and investors for a tool tied to the bitcoin rate was so high that the stock exchange's website went offline after the bidding started, and trading was halted two times due to the drastic rate jumps.

The price of bitcoin within the last weekend before the futures trading launch demonstrated high volatility. On 9 December, the bitcoin price declined to $14,154. On 10 December, the rate dipped, even more, reaching a support level of $13310, but then returned to growth and at midnight bitcoin again traded over $15,400.

Traders feared that the arrival of institutional investors on the cryptocurrency market could lead to a bitcoin price decrease, since hedge funds may prefer to short bitcoin rather than to open long positions. But their fears were not justified: within the first five minutes after the start of trading, the rate of the cryptocurrency soared from $15,000 to $15,600, and then to $17,000.

As of 11 December, bitcoin is trading at $17,100 and continues to grow. During the day, the value of the cryptocurrency increased by 23%.

Bitcoin futures on Cboe also show growth. Its price peaked at $18,700. Since the beginning of trading, more than 2300 contracts have been sold. Because of high volatility, trades were suspended were times. According to the specifications of Cboe bitcoin futures, the change in the bitcoin rate by more than 10% from the price of the previous day leads to the suspension of trading for 2 minutes.