"Even as investors celebrate a banner year for stocks, the [Bitcoin] party next door is so wild there's no longer any way of ignoring it" ... Barron's cover story by Avi Salzman:
"The crypto-rocket shot past $11,000 [this] week just hours after eclipsing $10,000, which itself was mere days after pushing past $9,000. It then slid sharply before surging yet again."
"Now Wall Street is about to join in the fun. On Friday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission green-lighted plans by the CME and the Chicago Board Options Exchange to introduce Bitcoin futures ... Nasdaq is planning to offer its own futures next year, while Cantor Fitzgerald will introduce a Bitcoin options product."
Why it matters: "[G]etting listed on some of the largest exchanges in the country is a tectonic shift for Bitcoin, which has been associated with drug dealing and called a 'fraud' by the chief executive of the nation's largest bank."
But, but, but ... "Because the futures are cash-settled — traders will receive dollars on the settlement date instead of Bitcoin — the Street technically won't be getting its hands dirty by buying the stuff directly."
"[T]here is a flip side ... extreme volatility, operational risk, security challenges."