The CME bitcoin front-month futures contract did open higher at $20,650 but declined 6 percent within the first half hour.
The contract was last at $18,805, below the $19,500 reference price set by the exchange for the January contract.
The reference price, at which price limits are set, is $19,600 for the February contract, $19,700 for March and $19,900 for June, according to CME.
On Dec. 10, Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched bitcoin futures, which saw the price surge nearly 20 percent in its debut.
The week-old bitcoin futures contract at the Cboe was last trading at $18,890, up 4.3 percent.
Spot bitcoin eased 1.9 percent on the Bitstamp exchange to $18,650, after surging to a record high of $19,666 on Sunday.
The launch of bitcoin futures is viewed as a major step in the digital currency’s path toward legitimacy, which should encourage the entry of big institutional investors. It seems that a lot of investors want to get exposure to bitcoin without actually holding them
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