The chess match between the banks and Bitcoin just got real . After years of listening to everyone with a vested interest in the current banking system poo-poo Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, the CME Group announced that they would begin trading Bitcoin futures contracts by the end of the year. This morning’s article at Zerohedge was inevitable CME Group , the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced it intends to launch bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017 , pending all relevant regulatory review periods. The new contract will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR) which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of bitcoin. Bitcoin futures will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME. Now we know why the SEC squashed all previous Bitcoin ETFs. It had nothing to do with liquidity, valuations or consumer protection. It had everything to do with creating made of of dollars to be used by the big banks to dominate and control the valuation of the market. synthetic bitcoins Anyone who doesn’t believe me in saying that has never watched a minute’s worth of the gold trade. This is how they control the gold price. They issue unlimited supply of paper gold, settled not in gold but in dollars, to keep the price in the range they believe it should be kept in over a particular period of time. This is done to suit their needs, not the needs of the gold market participants, i.e. the mining companies, investors, end-users. Guess what? Bitcoin futures are explicitly not going to be settled in Bitcoins. They will be settled in dollars. This means that this contract is a means by which to use unlimited dollars to control the dollar price of Bitcoin. The SEC will issue a statement saying this will be good for tamping down volatility and “protecting investors in these unregulated and dangerous markets.” Miscalculating Future Value Futures trading is a natural growth path for any market to coordinate future supply and demand. It works beautifully to smooth out the prices of commodities and currencies across the world. The CME Group is, however, not just the “world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace” but the most “divisive and corrupt marketplaces” in the world today. All markets are subject to manipulation. Since we began trading in open bazaars market manipulation techniques sprang into being. The techniques developed then are still in play today, they just get more and more sophisticated. And when the manipulators are a protected class of bankers controlling the wealth of the society the possibility of institutionalized manipulation and fraud exists. That’s where we are today at the CME Group and why they have been able to scalp billions from investors in the gold and silver markets through things like spoofing, leverage requirement adjustments and flat-out Fed money printing to create infinite supply in the face of finite demand. In short? Fraud. These things work to suppress changes in market sentiment that would cause the banks and the central banks distress when the market uncovers they are vulnerable and the price of the dollar or oil or corn drops. And by doing this they extend existing trends far longer than they would in a free market and ensure a later collapse in confidence orders of magnitude bigger than it would have been had they just let the market operate and take their lumps along the way. The Bitcoin Mutation Bitcoin was, in my mind, the catastrophic mutation of money brought on by extreme levels of monetary corruption in the modern banking system. It was designed to fix the problems of gold in a global market while retaining all of gold’s other excellent monetary properties. It operating completely outside the regulated money markets made it the perfect test bed for a new open-source monetary system and economy. It’s still in that test-bed phase because of inertia, regulatory structures designed to inhibit its growth as a medium-of-exchange and the lack of tools to make it easy to use for the average middle-class person. That last bit is on developers to address, and they are. Now, like the good little oligarchs that they are, they’re finally scared enough of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that they are going to cap their growth through good ol’ fashioned leverage and market manipulation. Everything else has failed to stem the tide so now it’s time for this battle tactic to be employed. Understand that from an evolutionary biology perspective Bitcoin is a mutation which rises to the level of existential threat to central-bank-issued debt-based currency. Gold was put on the futures exchange when they finally realized they could do a better job controlling its price and the perception of the dollar’s strength better than refusing to allow a futures market for it at all. Bitcoin is getting that same treatment. The Real Battle for Bitcoin We’re heading into the period of uncertainty surrounding Segwit2x and the potential for a destructive bout of infighting that will change the future of Bitcoin forever. I have to wonder if this announcement and CME’s expectation of trading to commence before year-end are connected. Fomenting this fight for the future of the Bitcoin blockchain and then spinning up a futures contract designed to control Bitcoin’s price is the real attempt to kill it once and for all. Because if Bitcoin is to cryptocurrencies what Gold is to the dollar reserve standard then controlling Bitcoin’s value, the thinking goes, should control the value of all the cryptocurrencies. They can then prick this bubble, dishearten a lot of latecomers to the 2017 crypto-party and steal billions in wealth all at the same time. That would be quite a kill shot, wouldn’t it? On the other hand, if the cryptocurrency ecosystem is as resilient as a true decentralized system should be, then attacking one node of the cryptocurrency network shouldn’t mean very much in the end. Bitcoin is Dead, Long Live Bitcoin. And the capital that has been deployed in the crypto-space will route itself around Bitcoin, itself now almost an anachronism of legacy, outdated code desperately trying to remain relevant, and flow into the coins that have real promise to change the way we do business on the Internet. Will we see something else become the new crypto-reserve standard? Or will we see a massive leveling of capital across the space? Either way, this announcement by the CME Group is not to be taken lightly. It is the most important crypto-headline of 2017, in fact. Be prepared for anything. Join My Patreon to support the production of analysis like this as well as gain access to trading tips in my Private Blog and investment picks in the Gold Goats ‘n Guns Investment Newsletter.