Investing.com – The price of the digital currency bitcoin rose to a new all-time high above the $6,500 level on Wednesday on news that futures markets operator CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) is planning to launch bitcoin futures later this year.
On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, Bitcoin was trading at $6,525.10 by 10:17 AM ET (14:17 PM GMT) after rising as high as $6,590.90 earlier.
Bitcoin started the year near $1,000 and at current prices has a total market capitalization of around $109 billion.
CME Group, the world’s largest derivative exchange operator, said Tuesday it plans to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals.
CME is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which would have to sign off on the launch of any bitcoin futures contract.
The launch of a bitcoin product by a major regulated exchange could help cryptocurrencies gain legitimacy in the financial world and represent a major step forward in mainstream adoption.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin offshoot Bitcoin Cash was last at $481.60, up 10.10% for the day.
Bitcoin cash has a total market cap of around $8.2 billion at current prices, making it the third most valuable cryptocurrency.
Elsewhere in cryptocurrency trading, Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency by market cap after bitcoin, was down 0.64% to $301.50.