The price of bitcoin futures keeps surging since their launch on the Chicago Board Options Exchange two days ago, showing growing investor demand.

Newly launched bitcoin futures continue to rise in value, nearing $18,400 mark in the second day of trading. After opening at $15,000 on Sunday evening, the price of the one-month futures contract jumped the following day, rising by over 20%.

At press time, the January futures contract is valued at $18,350, as CNBC shows. XBT contracts expiring in February now stand at $18,600, while the March futures are trading at $18,770, according to CBOE.

Bitcoin itself has also increased after the futures launch. The digital currency has been highly volatile last weekend. After reaching a new record high of more than $18,000 on Friday, it plummeted to almost $13,000 level. However, the launch of bitcoin futures pushed the prices higher, which escalated to over $16,000 in the first hours of trading on Sunday.

The cryptocurrency continued its growth yesterday, reaching more than $17,200 per coin. Currently, it is worth $17,566, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin, however, is not the only crytocurrency that has demonstrated a sharp growth over the last few hours.  In the past 24 hours, the price of Litecoin increased by 45%, hitting a new record of $255. At the time of writing, it is trading at $339, CoinMarketCap shows.

CBOE became the first exchange to introduce bitcoin futures and offer an opportunity for investors to embrace the digital currency market via a regulated platform. This is an important step as it will allow large investors to put their money into bitcoin without actually buying it.

A futures contract is an agreement that enables investors to buy and sell something at a certain price in the future. The instrument allows traders to speculate on whether the digital currency’s price will go up or down in the next one, two or three months.

Apart from CBOE, bitcoin futures will soon become available on CME, which is going to start bitcoin futures trading next week. Besides, Nasdaq has unveiled its plans to launch futures contracts in January, 2018.

Due to heavy traffic, the exchange’s website saw two temporary halts shortly after the futures launch. The trading was suspended for two minutes after the price soared above 10% of the starting value and for five minutes after it recorded a 20% gain.

Still, despite a significant traffic on Sunday, the trading volume was not very big during the first day of trading. Brian Kelly from Brian Kelly Capital noted that although the start is small, it could be considered a success. “I would expect more volume as people prepare for CME futures,” he told CNBC.

Last week, CBOE was criticized by the head of the Futures Industry Association, Walt Lukken, who claimed the bitcoin futures had been introduced to the market too quickly.

“A more thorough and considered process would have allowed for a robust public discussion among clearing member firms, exchanges and clearinghouses to ascertain the correct margin levels, trading limits, stress testing and related guarantee fund protections and other procedures needed in the event of excessive price movements,” Lukken claimed.

CBOE CEO, Edward Tilly, in turn, said the complaints are “uncalled for”, calling them a “cheap shot”. “This is just irresponsible. I respect all the concerns that the industry has but when it’s articulated in the way the FIA did, not so much,” he told Financial News.

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