Bakkt Announces Sept. 23 Launch of Futures and Custody Platform in US

FINALLY!

Bakkt has announced the coming launch of its much-anticipated platform for daily and monthly futures in the United States in a blog post on Aug. 16. Having received approval from the necessary regulators, the launch is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Bakkt’s physically delivered futures have been the subject of a great deal of anticipation, with the company initially announcing its launch August 2018 before being subject to repeated delaysover compliance issues. Satisfying the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has proven particularly challenging. The company began testing in earnest on July 22, as Cointelegraph reported at the time.

Per the announcement, Bakkt has hosted numerous events in New York and Chicago — cities critical to the U.S. futures market. They have also sat down with regulators from the CFTC as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bakkt will be partnering with Intercontinental Exchange Futures U.S. and Intercontinental Exchange Clear U.S. to provide its futures contracts.

Institutional services and custody have been a growing market in crypto, with major U.S. exchange Coinbase announcing the addition of Xapo’s Institutions into its custodial operation last night. After the announcement, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong commented on the major rise in institutional clients for crypto services, saying:

“Whether institutions were going to adopt crypto or not was an open question about 12 months ago. I think it’s safe to say we now know the answer. We’re seeing $200-400M a week in new crypto deposits come in from institutional customers.”

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Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, announced that the much-awaited institutional platform will be making its debut on September 23 of this year. The announcement was made after the platform received a green light from U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], which the entire community has been waiting for since the start of this year. Notably, this news comes in right after the institutional platform announced that the testing of Bitcoin futures would begin in July.

The blog stated,

“Our contracts have already received the green light from the CFTC through the self-certification process and user acceptance testing has begun. With approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services to create Bakkt Trust Company, a qualified custodian, the Bakkt Warehouse will custody bitcoin for physically delivered futures.”

On September 23, the platform will go live with daily and monthly physically-delivered Bitcoin futures contracts. Additionally, the platform will also be launching its custodial service on the same day, both in partnership with ICE Futures US and ICE Clear US.

The blog further stated,

“We’re starting with the introduction of a regulated and secure qualified custodian for bitcoin to support our futures contracts […] Bakkt’s bitcoin futures will be exchange-traded on ICE Futures U.S. and cleared on ICE Clear US, which are federally regulated by the CFTC.”

The launch of Bakkt was the most anticipated launch ever since its announcement last year as the platform promised to bring about regulation. Additionally, the platform is launched by NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange, thereby introducing the Bitcoin market to institutional investors.

Rhytm, a Twitter user said,

“Remember, the hype is bakkt with substance. Unlike other futures exchanges, this is settled in bitcoin. Hard, actual bitcoin is paid out, not fiat equivalent to the price of bitcoin. The result is better price discovery and liquidity for bitcoin.”

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Are we winning, bro?!

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