Futures trading is the ability to bet on the price of an asset at a future point in time, known as a ‘contract’. Futures contracts can involve the trader going ‘long’, betting that the price will increase during the contract period, or ‘short’, where they bet the opposite. All futures contracts are settled in cash rather than the underlying asset. Bitcoin futures were introduced by CME Group in December 2017, with Cboe following suit later in the month. Bitcoin’s bear market began very soon after futures trading was introduced, leading some to claim that their introduction was a core reason behind the crash in early 2018 and the bear market that followed after millions of dollars was wagered shorting Bitcoin in the first round of contracts.