Five of the biggest electronic traders in the world are already trading bitcoin. Jump Trading LLC, Tower Research Capital LLC and Hudson River Trading are in the market, according to people familiar with the matter, along with Susquehanna International Group LLP. DRW Holdings LLC has been trading digital currencies since 2014, giving it a head start on competitors.
High-speed firms have remade virtually every other electronic market, turning transactions over to algorithms and measuring market moves in milliseconds. But low volatility and trading volumes have eroded profits, pushing them to look for new opportunities. Bitcoin, which has huge price swings, rose to a new high above $8,000 on Monday. And with CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. poised to offer bitcoin futures contracts, it will get easier for pros to place bets, either on gains or losses.