This is most appropriately filed in the “believe it when we see it” file, but Bakkt is reporting that it has finally – and definitively – been given approval to introduce its long-awaited cryptocurrency futures trading platform. Talk about the ICE-backed exchange launch futures trading has been discussed for a year and previous assertions that a delay was imminent were ultimately shown to be somewhat premature. In this case, however, Bakkt is positive that it can introduce its futures products sometime next month.
In an announcement from last Friday, Bakkt states that it has been given a New York state trust charter by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). This approval reportedly allows the company to offer physically-traded futures contracts with Bitcoin Core (BTC) at the center. Now that it has been given regulatory authorization to proceed, it expects to introduce the platform on September 23.
Bakkt indicates, “Our contracts have already received the green light from the CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] through the self-certification process and user acceptance testing has begun. With approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services to create Bakkt Trust Company, a qualified custodian, the Bakkt Warehouse will custody bitcoin for physically delivered futures. This offers customers unprecedented regulatory clarity and security alongside a regulated, globally accessible exchange in a market underserved by institutional-grade infrastructure.”
The exchange, which has found support from Microsoft, Starbucks and others, announced in June that it would launch in July after having received approval from the CFTC. Following that authorization, it needed the NYDFS trust charter to proceed. Bakkt conducted tests last month of its platform, which have apparently appeased regulators.
Bakkt adds in its announcement, “We’re starting with the introduction of a regulated and secure qualified custodian for bitcoin to support our futures contracts. The Bakkt Warehouse, which is part of Bakkt Trust Company, is built using the cyber and physical security protections that support the world’s most actively traded markets, including the NYSE. In addition, the independent governance and compliance requirements of a qualified custodian mean that the Bakkt Warehouse is designed to meet the highest standards of oversight.”
In order to build investor confidence, Bakkt isn’t going to rely on spot market data that is, at best, questionable. Spot markets have been identified as including manipulated data that skew otherwise accurate data and lead to market reporters providing misguided information. Only by ignoring spot markets can the Bitcoin ecosystem improve its reputation.
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