The first trading session of Bitcoin futures saw two temporary suspensions in a bid to dampen volatility, after prices surged 25%.
According to Bloomberg, trading of the futures on the CBOE Global Markets Inc exchange was so strong it caused delays and outages.
The first trading halt came after 2.5 hours and the second after four hours. CBOE will halt trading in an attempt to curb volatility for two minutes if prices rise or fall by 10% or more, for five minutes at 20% and at least five minutes at 30%.
Bitcoin futures expiring in January increased from an opening price of $15,000 to over $18,000, while around 2,300 futures contracts changed hands, according to Bloomberg.
Introducing Bitcoin futures is a significant step for the cryptocurrency, as it allows professional traders and investors to bet on price rises or falls. CME Group Inc's exchange is set to start offering similar futures shortly.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at TF Global Markets, said: "So far, looking at the contract volume traded, we believe there is decent demand and this is driving up the price of Bitcoin," he told Bloomberg. "Prices are going higher because of the increase in confidence."
The price of Bitcoin had risen by $5,665 in the last week alone, while soaring over 1,500% since the end of 2016 when it was trading at just $952. However, pricing of the virtual currency is notoriously volatile.
As a result of Bitcoin's rapid rise, hedge funds are reportedly building big short positions against the cryptocurrency as commentators warn a bubble is building.
Last week, Lou Kerner, a partner at Flight VC and investor in Bitcoin told Bloomberg it was "one of the greatest shorting opportunities ever".
"You have a lot of zealotry, and a lot of people, including me, who think it is the greatest thing to ever happen in the history of mankind.
"You have a lot of people who think it is a bubble and a Ponzi scheme," Kerner said. "It turns out both of them cannot be right."
However, there has been some concern about Bitcoin's rise with Bank of England (BoE) deputy governor Sir Jon Cunliffe telling BBC Radio 5 Live: "This is not a currency in the accepted sense. There is no central bank that stands behind it. For me it is much more like a commodity.
"This is not at a size where it is a macroeconomic risk to the global economy, but when prices are moving like that, my view would be investors need to do their homework."
Thomas Glucksmann, Hong Kong-based head of marketing at cryptocurrency exchange Gatecoin, told Bloomberg: "The Bitcoin price hike is just the continuation of a long-term bull run on the cryptocurrency, fuelled by the tsunami of speculative trading on Japanese exchanges and the entrance of institutional investors across the world."
Bitcoin has seen a mixed reaction from the asset management industry, with some claiming the cryptocurrency is simply a dangerous bubble while others have pointed to its diversification benefits.
JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said he would fire anyone trading Bitcoin for being "stupid", claiming it would eventually blow up.
"I would fire [any employee] in a second," Dimon told Bloomberg. "For two reasons: It is against our rules, and they are stupid. And both are dangerous."
However, anti-benchmark asset manager TOBAM recently launched a Bitcoin fund, which will be an unregulated alternative investment fund for investors who want to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency.
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