Bitcoin surges after launch of futures exchange

Bitcoin investors resumed their wild ride on Sunday, this time in the futures market, sending the price of the crypto-asset soaring — and crashing the Web site of the host exchange.

The price skyrocketed by more than $1,200 after the 6 p.m. opening of the first futures exchange, to $15,732, by 6:06 p.m., from $14,509, according to Coindesk, a price tracker.

Meanwhile, bitcoin futures on the new Cboe exchange climbed as high as $16,780, albeit on low volume.

The eye-popping surge comes after chatter amongbitcoin investors that “whales,” or people who own large amounts of the asset, were going to squeeze any short traders in order to “send a message,” said Marc van der Chijs, managing partner at Cross

“What I’m hearing from some of the whales in the market is that they will try to push the shorts out,” he told The Post. “Make sure their margins get called and get squeezed out.” “There are a couple of people out there who have made way too much money,” he added. “They like to play around with their money.”

The trading of futures contracts on the digital currency takes the asset one step closer to broader adoption on Wall Street, even though bitcoin didn’t exist nine years ago and has been derided as a “fraud” by JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon.

While the exchange hosting the trading, Cboe, functioned normally with relatively low volume, the company’s Web site appeared to have crashed just minutes after the trading began. The launch comes as bitcoin mania seems to have taken hold of the popular imagination

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