U.S. Markets closed

Here are the two biggest risks for bitcoin

It’s been another wild day for bitcoin (BTCUSD=X) as the cryptocurrency faces both regulatory and structural challenges.

On the regulation front, it’s getting hit hard in China. One of the biggest exchanges in the country, BTC China, said it’s shutting down trading in the next couple weeks.

The announcement sparked today’s selloff, bringing bitcoin down 20% from the high it set earlier this month.

But it’s not just BTC China, several of China’s top bitcoin exchanges are preparing to halt operations, after a reported regulatory crackdown.

The other major risk for bitcoin is structural.

Buying and selling bitcoin is still somewhat clunky. At times, confirming one transaction can take more than an hour and sometimes more than a day. But trading and investing in bitcoin might get easier very soon.

Bitcoin Average Confirmation Time

The Chicago Board Options Exchange is planning to offer cash-settled bitcoin futures next year, according to CNBC. The CFTC recently approved a platform to act as a clearing house for derivatives settled in digital currencies. Meanwhile the SEC is still reviewing a plan for a bitcoin ETF, a proposal that once looked like it was dead in the water.

All this could open up bitcoin to a wider array of investors and traders, as liquidity, security, and settlement times improve.