The wonderful world of futures contracts has finally caught up with the exciting new world of cryptocurrencies. If you pardon the pun, for Bitcoin, the futures is now. Futures contracts have been in use since the late 19th century. A futures contract is an agreement for the delivery of goods at a specified date in the future. The price is set at the beginning of the contract, and when the product is delivered, the original agreed price is paid.
Exchange-traded options first started trading back in 1973. But over the past decade, the popularity of options has grown in leaps and bounds. According to data compiled by the Options Industry Council, the total volume of options contracts traded on U.S. exchanges in 1999 was about 507 million. By 2007, that number had grown to an all-time record of more than 3 billion.