CHICAGO — Investors will soon have another way to make or lose money on the digital currency bitcoin.

CME Group plans to open a futures market for bitcoin before the end of the year, if the Chicago-based exchange can get approval from U.S. regulators.

Tuesday’s announcement is likely to give further credibility to bitcoin, a high-tech creation spawned about a decade ago as an alternative to government-issued currencies.

Bitcoin initially was used primarily to buy illegal goods and services online. But in recent years, it has been a hot investment among speculators betting it will become a mainstream form of payment, causing its value to soar.

Digital asset specialist CoinDesk says the trading price for a bitcoin soared above $6,400 for the first time Tuesday.