Stealing the spotlight was the debut of bitcoin futures contracts, allowing investors to bet on the price of the cryptocurrency in one, two or three months.
The one-month contract, the most-traded on the Chicago-based CBOE Global Markets exchange XBTc1 opened at $15,850 on Sunday night – a gain of 21 percent.
It was last quoted at $18,600, while bitcoin itself hovered at $16,431.76. BTC=BTSP
Bitcoin has rocketed up a gravity-defying 1,600 percent since the start of the year, attracting institutional interest – and concerns that it is a bubble in the making.
“The one-month contract is trading at around an 11 percent premium to the underlying bitcoin, and for me that’s a clear indication that there’s no connection between the two markets,” said Lukas Daalder, chief investment officer at Robeco.
Several online brokerages have not yet allowed trading of the new futures.
“I can understand you don’t see that many people who are willing to offer this contract, because you can’t hedge your underlying risk if you can’t short it,” Daalder added.
“This only adds to the bitcoin phenomenon. It’s interesting to watch, but not a market that I would like to touch.”
While frantic trading kept bitcoin volatility dizzying, a gauge of S&P 500 volatility .VIX dipped below 10 to its lowest in more than two weeks, nearing the record low hit in November, Reuters reports.