Business

Erik Gibbs

Bakkt is finally ready to offer crypto futures

After several delays, the Bakkt cryptocurrency trading platform has finally confirmed that it is about ready to launch. The platform, which was built through a collaboration between the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Microsoft, Starbucks and others, will put physically-settled crypto futures products in the hands of investors for the first time. Bakkt is expected to launch this July.

Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, states in a blog post that the company had worked closely with regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to ensure that the products met regulatory guidelines. She added, “In conjunction with our exchange and clearing partners at ICE, we’ll be working with our customers over the next several weeks to prepare for user acceptance testing (UAT) for futures and custody, which we expect to start in July. We’ll provide more details in upcoming posts, but we expect to use UAT to ensure that customers have time to onboard and can test the trading and custody model we’ve built to their satisfaction.”

There will be two futures contracts listed—a daily settlement Bitcoin Core (BTC) future and a monthly BTC futures contract. The former will allow customers to transact in a same-day market, while the latter will “enable trading in the front month and across the forward pricing curve.”

While Loeffler didn’t explicitly state that the launch will take place, all indications are there that it will and she mentioned that the platform would begin testing the contracts this summer. However, the products will be a little different than what had initially been envisioned.

Bakkt, with the ICE’s oversight, will have to self-certify the futures products in order to determine whether or not they violate any securities laws or regulations. In other words, the CFTC has not necessarily given the green light to the products and said that they meet regulatory requirements.

Loeffler added, “As we help bring digital assets mainstream, we’ll continue our collaboration with regulators and customers. The landscape won’t change overnight, but the intersection of technology and finance requires cooperation between business and policy makers to ensure the U.S. maintains a critical voice in how this space evolves.”

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