Crypto trading for institutional clients platform Bakkt has announced that it will begin the trials of its much-awaited and much-vaunted Bitcoin futures product. The first testing of physically-delivered Bitcoin futures will commence on 22 July.
The latest announcement from Bakkt comes on the back of many delays to date, stretching back to the second half of last year when it first promised to launch by the end of 2018. This latest news will be seen by many as them biding time, as the true delay lies with issues of compliance with regulatory laws. It also appears that there is little new information since its last announcement in May.
The latest announcement makes a subtle reference to a monumental moment, underlining the belief held by many that once these Bitcoin futures are approved, institutional money pouring into Bitcoin would be a giant step for the market. COO Adam White remarked:
“On July 22, two days after Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, Bakkt will initiate user acceptance testing for its bitcoin futures listed and traded at ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear US… This is no small step. This launch will usher in a new standard for accessing crypto markets. Compared to other markets, institutional participation in crypto remains constrained due to limitations like market infrastructure and regulatory certainty.”
There is likely to be a void to fill as well once Cboe, the first-ever firm to provide Bitcoin futures, shuts down operations after its final contracts settle later in June. Although CME Group is already benefiting from the demise of its competitor, Bakkt will be more attractive since its contracts will be settled with physical Bitcoin instead of cash.
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