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Bitcoin futures launch a big victory for the digital currency

The launch of Bitcoin futures on the Cboe Futures Exchange over the weekend was a “very big victory” for the digital currency, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday.

Bitcoin futures, trading under the ticker symbol XBT, debuted Sunday night on the Cboe. The futures price climbed 10 percent in the first two hours and triggered at least two trading halts due to rapid price gains.

“I was hoping we’d get some price discovery. If this is the price discovery, it can head much higher,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.”

“This is a very big victory for bitcoin last night,” Cramer said, “and I think a lot of people felt it would be inconceivable that when you had a two-sided market that somebody would come in. We do have other exchanges coming in.” CME is launching bitcoin futures contracts on Dec. 18.

Reports that claimed bitcoin could eventually replace gold as a repository also helped the cryptocurrency “mightly,” he said.

Cramer has been a vocal critic of bitcoin, warning investors that it’s like “‘Monopoly’ money” and people would be better off going to Las Vegas.

Critics, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, have doubted the legitimacy of bitcoin. Proponents argue bitcoin is a good medium of exchange and a way to store value like gold.

Cramer said Monday that “so many people” who wanted the cryptocurrency to go higher and were overwhelmed by “any short interest, short attempts, to drive it down.”

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