Dec. 12, 2017 (Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin traders and watchers have been busy heralding the entrance of cryptocurrencies futures. What they should really be focused on is the exit.
The first 24 hours of the Cboe Global Markets Inc.'s bitcoin futures contract went pretty well. By Monday evening, 3,969 of the Cboe's main January contracts had been bought and sold -- not big by established futures market standards, but more than many people expected. With some brokers barring shorting, there was some concerns that buyers wouldn't be able to find sellers. That didn't happen. There also wasn't a huge flood of people waiting to bet against bitcoin and driving the price of the contract down. Instead, it ended up $3,545 on the day at $18,545. Bitcoin rose, too.
As much as bitcoin bulls might want to use the smooth start of trading to contend that the cryptocurrency and its price are more solid than critics contend, the real test won't come until Jan. 17. That's when the Cboe's first main contract expires. And as any futures trader knows, getting out can be trickier than getting in.