Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. 16,000 a coin Thursday, bitcoin banks Wall Street banks don’t appear too eager to get in on the crypto-mania. The Wall Street Journal found Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup won’t provide their clients access to Cboe’s bitcoin futures market.
Cboe, the options and derivatives exchange based in Chicago, is launching its market for bitcoin futures Sunday. The futures market, which Cboe has been planning for more than six months, will allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin. Investors in the market won’t have to actually touch the red-hot coin, known for its spine-tingling volatility. Still, that doesn’t appear to have mollified the anxieties of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup. The two firms will not offer clients access to Cboe’s bitcoin futures market on Sunday, according to the Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale, a French bank, are still considering entering the market for their clients. A spokesperson for Cboe declined to tell The Journal which banks were participating in the market on Sunday.
Banks have had a less favorable view of cryptocurrencies than Wall Street exchanges. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon famously called bitcoin a “fraud. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in November his firm was in no rush to develop a strategy on bitcoin, according to a Bloomberg News report. 16,000 a coin on Thursday, according to data from Markets Insider. Get the latest Bitcoin price here.
But much of the hype is about getting rich by trading it. The price of bitcoin skyrocketed into the thousands in 2017. Bitcoins can be used to buy merchandise anonymously. In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees. Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.