Afternoon Coffee: Bitcoin Futures Go Live on CME, Oracle to Buy Aconex for $1.2 Billion

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Bitcoin futures launched at CME Group Sunday night, following bitcoin’s official futures debut at CBOE last week, Reuters reports. Despite bitcoin’s meteoric rise over the past month, however, trading volumes were muted in both markets, an indication that the cryptocurrency’s transformation to mainstream investment still has hurdles to overcome.

Oracle Acquisition

Oracle announced Monday it would acquire construction project management software provider Aconex for $1.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Aconex offers “an online collaboration platform for construction and engineering projects, allowing contractors, project managers and builders to share documents and work together on projects.” Even with the hefty price tag, Oracle said the deal would allow it to provide a comprehensive project management solution for a $14 trillion industry.

BMW Batteries

The global shift to electric vehicles is changing procurement needs for auto manufacturers. Case in point: BMW’s need for materials such as cobalt and lithium will increase 10-fold by 2025, according to IndustryWeek. In an effort to secure supply, BMW’s procurement head said the company is close to finalizing purchase contracts with five- to 10-year time frames.

US Industry

And finally, an economic update: US industrial production rose 0.2% in November, CNBC reports, bringing measurements for the past 12 months to 3.4% total increase.

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