The long expected correction in bitcoin prices appears to be underway, following the launch of bitcoin futures trading with exchange giants CME.
Analysts had previously suggested that the launch of futures trading for bitcoin could unsettle the markets, as investors now increasingly look to profit on both the buy and sell side of market movements.
At over 50 times the size of rival CBOE, which went live with bitcoin futures last week, the pressure of the launch of futures trading at CME has seen bitcoin fall some 15% from its recent trading highs, below $16600 at the time of writing.
That compares to highs near $20,000 over the course of last week, which many have seen as a significant psychological barrier for bitcoin prices. On debut, bitcoin futures at CBOE were trading at over $20,000 for January, reflecting the bullish mood that continues to prevail, despite this most recent setback.
This combined with news of a hack on a leading Asian exchange, which has also unsettled bitcoin markets there, has factored in to much of the sell-side pressure currently affecting bitcoin markets.
It comes just a matter of days after bitcoin was setting new all-time highs towards $20,000, with price trends appearing to follow similar movements around past price records.
The question for investors now will be whether this represents a momentary pause to stock up on more bitcoin, or the beginning of a more prolonged period of downwards price pressure.
Over the past two days, the owner of bitcoin.com Emil Oldenburg announced he had sold his bitcoin and bought bitcoin cash instead, effectively calling the near-term top price before the current pullback.
“An investment in Bitcoin right now I would say is the most risky investment one can make. It is extremely high-risk. I’ve actually sold all of my Bitcoins recently and switched to Bitcoin Cash.”
“We’ve actually stopped developing new services for the old bitcoin network now and are focusing mostly on Bitcoin Cash. Where it costs only 10 öre [$0.12] to send BCH and there’s no waiting. The only downside is that it requires larger hard drives, but that’s not a problem for most people.”