Bitcoin is growing up. CME Group, the world’s largest derivatives exchange, said yesterday that it will create a futures contract for trading the cryptocurrency, another sign it is becoming a mainstream financial asset like gold or oil. The news sent the bitcoin price soaring to yet another new record, surpassing $6,500 for the first time.

For crypto-enthusiasts, the CME’s announcement signals that it thinks bitcoin has real-world applications beyond pure speculation. Derivatives exchanges like CME and CBOE Holdings, which also has plans to launch bitcoin futures, can theoretically create options, futures, and other derivatives linked to just about anything, but they usually only do so when there’s a commercial reason for it. Oil futures, which traders use to bet on crude’s price, allow companies to hedge the risk of oil prices rising or falling. Futures tied to a football team winning or losing, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t have a meaningful commercial application.

For crypto-enthusiasts, the CME’s announcement signals that it thinks bitcoin has real-world applications beyond pure speculation. Derivatives exchanges like CME and CBOE Holdings, which also has plans to launch bitcoin futures, can theoretically create options, futures, and other derivatives linked to just about anything, but they usually only do so when there’s a commercial reason for it. Oil futures, which traders use to bet on crude’s price, allow companies to hedge the risk of oil prices rising or falling. Futures tied to a football team winning or losing, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t have a meaningful commercial application.

Lots of futures contracts never gain wide adoption, no matter how promising they seem at first. And neither the CME futures contact nor the CBOE one has been approved by regulators yet, although their announcements suggest they’re confident they can pull it off.

For big institutions, there are other hurdles. CME’s bitcoin futures are “cash settled,” meaning investors are delivered dollars instead of bitcoin at the end of the contact. That seems like an easy solution for companies that worry bitcoin could be “dirty,” but their limited ability to buy and sell actual bitcoin (for arbitrage or hedging) could reduce how much trading is possible.

And then there’s the issue of volatility. Exchanges like CME might require brokers to post extra collateral to trade bitcoin futures, which could further restrain buying and selling.

The CME news is one more sign that exchange executives think bitcoin is “here to stay.” Even so, some of its biggest believers, like Fortress Investment’s Mike Novogratz, believe prices are probably in a bubble. As usual with something so new and exciting as cryptocurrencies, there’s a risk that the hype runs ahead of the reality.

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