Bitcoin has begun trading on a major exchange for the first time.
The digital currency launched on the CBOE futures exchange in Chicago at 23:00 GMT Sunday, allowing investors to bet on whether Bitcoin prices will rise or fall.
Its value had surged in the run-up to its futures debut, which saw it rise another 17% to above $18,000.
Bitcoin’s introduction to the CBOE has been seen by some as a step towards legitimising the currency.
The move is expected to be followed next week by a listing on the rival Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
CBOE trading saw the Bitcoin futures contract expiring in January start at $15,000 before rising to above $18,000. The contract is based on the price of Bitcoin as quoted on the Gemini exchange.
The Gemini exchange was set up by the Winklevoss twins, who were early fans of the crypto-currency and who have been called the first Bitcoin billionaires.
A CBOE insider said its start was low key, with “no champagne”. However, CBOE tweeted to warn that its website was running slowly and could be temporarily unavailable.
Anticipation of the first mainstream listings have helped the controversial currency soar past $10,000 and then over $17,000 on Thursday before retreating. The price of Bitcoin stood at about $16,600 on Monday, according to Coindesk.com.