TOKYO – The price of bitcoin rose over 10 percent to 1.99 million yen ($17,594), coinciding with its futures debut on a major United States stock exchange and after registering a sharp drop over the weekend.
The spike was registered at around 12:00 pm (0300 GMT) Monday in Coincheck, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges in Japan, after the Chicago Board Options Exchange began trading in bitcoin futures at 2300 GMT.
The value of the cryptocurrency had fallen to 1.5 million yen on Sunday after registering an upward trend in recent weeks owing to anticipations over its futures debut in the stock market.
Apart from the CBOE, the US regulatory authority had also greenlighted trading of bitcoin futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world’s largest futures exchange, which will begin offering contracts on Dec. 18, while the Nasdaq Index will offer similar contracts in 2018.
Products related to the virtual currency are also expected to be launched in Tokyo’s financial markets from next year onward, a conglomerate of Tokyo-based companies had said.
Japan was one of the first countries in the world to legalize bitcoin, recognizing it as a mode of payment in April, making it an important investment asset in the world’s third biggest economy.
Bitcoin trading volume in yen accounts for 37.7 percent of global trading volume in the digital currency, followed by the dollar, which accounts for 28.4 percent, according to the CryptoCompare website.
Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency that made its debut in 2009, and is based on the “blockchain” technology, also used in other cryptocurrencies, where the material value is based in data encryption.