Bitcoin hits all-time high after CME Group says to launch futures

A copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. Picture taken October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic -

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin jumped to an all-time high above $6,300 on Tuesday, after the world's largest futures market operator CME Group CME.O said it would launch a regulated trading venue for cryptocurrencies in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The new futures contracts will be settled in cash, based on the CME ‘CF Bitcoin Reference Rate’, a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin, the company said.

The price of bitcoin jumped to as high as $6338.60 according to trade website Coindesk’s price index, which aggregates the prices quoted across several exchanges. That was up from around $6,215 before the news.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, bitcoin jumped to as high as $6,351 BTC=BTSP, up almost 4 percent on the day.

Bitcoin has surged in value by around 555 percent so far this year.

Reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by John Geddie