Chicago Mercantile Exchange CME Group began trading futures contracts for bitcoin. After four hours, the futures price fell by 3.8%, dropping from $20,650 to $18,760.

Bitcoin futures trading on Chicago-based CME began on 17 December at 17.00 local time. The day before the futures launch was dominated by a strong bitcoin price surge. It surpassed $19,000 and moved closer to the milestone of $20,000. But after the trading on CME began, the bitcoin rate began to slide down.

Within the first hour of futures trading, more than 200 contracts were sold. Currently, bitcoin futures for January are trading at $19,510.

The first bitcoin futures launched by a traditional financial exchange started a week ago. It was Chicago-based CBOE, that was the first exchange to offer its clients bitcoin-based derivative. After Cboe launched bitcoin futures trading, the cryptocurrency demonstrated an increase in its price of 19%.

According to Joe Van Hecke, founder and managing partner at Chicago-based trading firm Grace Hall and one of the first bidders on both exchanges, CME is a platform with more institutional investors than Cboe has.

Overnight the bitcoin price fell to $18,355, but then began the recovery and currently fluctuates around $19,113.

As for altcoins, the sharpest jump within the last weekend was made by Verge, the anonymous cryptocurrency, whose capitalization exceeded $1.2 billion, demonstrating a daily growth of 450%. The reason was the tweet of John McAfee, who recommended this cryptocurrency to his subscribers, saying that coins with the highest level of anonymity of transactions have a great future.