In a Medium post published on June 13, 2019, Bakkt COO Adam White stated that the institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform will begin testing its physically-settled bitcoin (BTC) futures from July 22, 2019.
Bitcoin Futures User Acceptance Testing to Commence in July 2019
In the blog post, White stated that Bakkt will begin user acceptance testing (UAT) of its physically-settled bitcoin futures from July 22. Notably, these futures will be listed and traded at ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear U.S.
White noted that institutional participation in the rapidly developing cryptocurrency space has been fairly limited until now due to external market forces like unclear government regulations and lack of market infrastructure. These factors clearly reflect in the market’s infamous volatility, low trading volumes, and opaque reporting standards, the Medium post reads.
However, Bakkt’s knack for successfully tackling challenging industry dynamics could soon turn the tides for the digital assets space. Geared towards institutional investors, Bakkt is mulling developing a comprehensive trading platform that would cater to the specific needs of financial stalwarts. The blog post reads in part:
“Bakkt also brings all the other features that institutions would expect in a versatile and broadly accessible market, including block trades; a fee holiday through the end of the year to encourage trading; market maker incentive programs to encourage liquid markets and integrations with ISVs and regulated brokerage platforms.”
ICE’s Moonshot Bet
As mentioned earlier, Bakkt’s journey until now has been full of regulatory hiccups.
At a time when established Wall Street giants were on the fence about foraying into the notorious crypto industry, ICE – in partnership with Starbucks and Microsoft – declared its ambitious plan to lure institutional investors into the budding space.
Since then, however, regulatory watchdogs haven’t been particularly kind to ICE’s moonshot bet. Initially scheduled to go live in December 2018, Bakkt’s path to public launch has time and again been blocked by regulatory hurdles.
That said, with Bakkt now officially declaring the launch date of its bitcoin futures product, things could soon heat up in the crypto assets space. Especially after considering that Fidelity Investments and other strongly-backed institutional trading platforms could open their own digital assets shops soon.