Bitcoin Eases From Record High, CME Bitcoin Futures launch Eyed; Ripple Sheds 10%

Bitcoin Eases From Record High, CME Bitcoin Futures launch Eyed; Ripple Sheds 10%

© Reuters.  © Reuters. – Bitcoin eased slightly from record highs on Friday as traders look ahead to the CME group’s launch of bitcoin futures, while Ethereum continued to drift from its recent all-time high.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, rose to $17,752, up $1367, or 8.34% after hitting an all-time high of $18,111 on Tuesday. The popular digital currency market cap fell to $298.89 billion.

The sharp rally comes just a few days ahead of CME Group’s launch of bitcoin futures slated for Dec. 18, and almost a week after the CBOE launch bitcoin futures. Trading volumes on the CBOE pale in comparison to that of CME, raising investor expectation that volatile price action could follow after the launch on Sunday.

The launch of futures trading has drawn a mixed reaction from investors, as it provides market participants with the option to place bearish bets on bitcoin, which could pressure the price of digital currency. Other market participants believe, however, that the launch of futures paves the way for bitcoin to become an established asset class, which would spur institutional demand.

fell 10.71% to $1729.7 but reclaimed its crown as the third most valuable currency by market cap from after the latter fell more than 10%.

“I think a lot of this is simply the market better understanding the realities of digital assets performance (speed, throughput etc),” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told Business Insider on Wednesday. “There is – appropriately – a lot of excitement about the potential – but XRP is very uniquely positioned to actually be able to deliver on the promise.”

, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell 1.13% to $678.77, as profit taking continued following the recent rally which saw the cryptocurrency surg to an all-time high of $760 amid reports that Swiss banking giant UBS would lead an Ethereum-based blockchain platform.

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