Bakkt’s physically settled Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading is now live for trading on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
New option for traders
As of 8 PM EST on Sept. 22 (00:00 UTC Sept. 23), Bakkt’s much-anticipated BTC futures trading has launched. The platform is the first of its kind to receive approval from United States regulators and is a product of ICE, the operator of the New York Stock Exchange.
While news of Bakkt’s launch and intention to facilitate BTC futures trading broke over a year ago, the platform itself has seen numerous delays owing to regulatory concerns. On Aug. 16 of this year, Bakkt announced that the company had secured approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and had scheduled today as the first day of trading.
While the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange currently offer trading of Bitcoin futures, these trades are cash-settled. Bakkt’s physically settled futures contracts let clients get Bitcoin rather than its equivalent value in fiat currency once the contract expires.
The platform offers daily and monthly trading of physically settled Bitcoin futures, to be processed through Bakkt’s Bitcoin Warehouse, which began processing withdrawals and deposits at the beginning of September. Days later, Bakkt announced that they had secured a $125 million insurance policy protecting Bitcoin stored in their warehouse.
Significance for the crypto world
Bakkt’s platform has been the subject of a great deal of speculation and anticipation. Many commentators believe that physically delivered futures trading of BTC represents a leap forward for institutional acceptance of Bitcoin in particular and crypto in general.
Noted crypto analyst Tom Lee tweeted on Sept. 19 that:
“I am very positive on Bakkt and its ability to improve trust with institutions to crypto.”