Bakkt Institutional Crypto Exchange Delays Launch To January 2019


The highly anticipated Bakkt Bitcoin Futures will not be launching this December, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced yesterday, November 20.

The Atlanta based company, which shares the same owner as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), revealed in its notification that it would offer the physically settled futures contract on January 24, 2019

Earlier plans had put the launch date for the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract on December 12, 2018.

Previously set for listing on the ICE Futures U.S exchange this December, the product was widely anticipated as it provided investors within the U.S the opportunity to trade not only a physically-settled BTC futures product but also the allure of doing so from a reputable and regulated exchange.

The main attraction with the Bakkt product was that investors get holdings in actual BTC, unlike the cash settled bitcoin futures listed on CME and CBOE where investors do not hold bitcoins at the contract’s expiry.

Per the announcement, the postponement gives the company extra time to onboard more customers as it prepares for warehousing and waits for trading to commence.

The U.S firm wrote:

“The new listing timeframe will provide additional time for the customer and clearing member onboarding before the start of trading and warehousing of the new contract.”

On October 22, ICE published an official press release stating that the physically-settled contract would be backed by BTC, all of which would be held in the firm’s Digital Asset Warehouse.

ICE Futures U.S also said then, as it has done this time, that ICE Clear U.S would be the asset’s clearing venue.

Accordingly, each futures contract has a single BTC deliverable traded in U.S. dollars with one daily contract available for trading on each “Exchange Business Day.”

The firm hasn’t made any announcement regarding whether the BTC futures contract to be listed in January will trade against the Sterling Pound and Euro, or whether that will have to wait.

Anchoring its operations within a regulated environment, the Bakkt Bitcoin futures contract is tailor-made for institutional investors.

Market analysts have in recent weeks been upbeat that a December launch for the Bakkt product would have played a significant role in an end-of-year rally for crypto.

Though that has now changed, even as Bitcoin slumped to a new yearly low of about $4,200, some analysts still see the crypto market as being capable of a spectacular performance to close the year.

The most notable crypto bull holding onto this feeling is Fundstrat Global’s Tom Lee, whose latest prediction maintains that Bitcoin will rally to hit a new yearly high of $15,000 by the end of 2018.

At the moment, BTC is trading around $4,500 against the US dollar and has gained more than 3 percent on the day. The trend has reversed some of the damage suffered in Tuesday’s massive price decline amid market-wide sell-offs.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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