OKCoin, Inc., one of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges, today announced the addition of futures trading to its platform, becoming one of the first major bitcoin exchanges in the world to enable its users to trade futures denominated in bitcoin.
The offering of futures trading addresses one of the key challenges facing bitcoin as a currency -- volatility. Fundamentally, a futures contract allows a user to 'lock in' a future price for bitcoin. Anticipated users of bitcoin futures include merchants and miners who want to secure a price for bitcoin they expect to receive in the future, and investors who want to take a position on the future price of bitcoin. OKCoin now offers those in the Bitcoin ecosystem additional tools to reduce their exposure to volatility.
"We continue to build the bitcoin trading platform of the future, bringing institutional and professional trading tools to digital currency investors," said Mr. Star Xu, Founder and CEO of OKCoin. "Today's launch of bitcoin futures trading capabilities builds on the algorithmic trading tools we pioneered and launched on our platform last month. We have already seen a favorable response from institutional and individual investors. We are helping to make participation in Bitcoin a more safe and stable process. The ability to trade futures will further cement our position as one of the world's leading bitcoin exchanges."
Futures trading is an important step forward in the stabilization of the bitcoin investing sector, in the following ways:
Bitcoin futures provide a way for bitcoin earners to lock in a future price and minimize risks associated with volatility.
Sophisticated investors will be able to utilize higher leverage opportunities for price speculation.
By moving the volatility away from the underlying asset, derivatives trading allows for decreased volatility and increased predictability of bitcoin prices.
Mr. Changpeng Zhao, OKCoin's Chief Technology Officer commented, "To ascertain that we are gathering accurate pricing data, OKCoin will be using a comprehensive USD price index derived from prices on 10 different bitcoin exchanges. The ability to trade futures allows investors to minimize risk in bitcoin trading, a major factajor factor to bitcoin's increasing adoption." Mr. Zhao is an industry veteran, whose career has been focused on developing trading technologies for financial institutions. He previously served as Head of R&D for Bloomberg Tradebook Futures in New York, as well as Head of Development for Blockchain.info.
The beta-launch is expected to have a duration period of two weeks, after which point it will go live.