The first round of CME Bitcoin futures expiring 4:00 PM (UTC) today, testing weak hands and marking the end of January’s sideways trading as the BTC price struggles to break the $12,000 mark. If CME Bitcoin futures settling at a price of $10,925 is any indication of what we can expect, one thing is for certain – this is going to be a bumpy ride. As new players in the crypto market panic in fear of Wall Street price manipulation, others are expecting a huge bull run.

It’s uncertain how futures will affect the price of Bitcoin, if at all, and the future of the cryptocurrency is uncertain as alt coins begin to take center stage. There are 1,459 contracts futures contracts expiring today with an open interest of 7,295 btc or ~$80M. This makes manipulation a difficult and costly effort. The price swings experienced around the time of CBOE futures expiration might be attributed to FUD and selling resulting from holders who are afraid of manipulation, rather than actual manipulation itself. A better understanding of how futures work can help address these fears. Either way, there’s no reason to believe that Bitcoin price will do anything spectacular anytime soon, especially as alt coins begin to take center stage.