The cryptocurrency trading platform being introduced by the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange appears to be closing in on an official launch. After announcing last month that it had successfully met the regulatory guidelines established by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Bakkt has announced that it is going to start testing its first product next month.
According to a company blog post, physically-delivered Bitcoin Core (BTC) futures will begin to be traded in testing on July 22. Bakkt Chief Operation Officer Adam White explains, “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.”
White added, “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.”
Bakkt is being developed through a partnership between NYSE’s Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Starbucks, Microsoft and others. White reiterates that the platform will “support the ICE Futures U.S. launch of daily and monthly margined futures” by incorporating regulated custody into the language of the futures contract.
He further offers, “That’s our mission — to support the development of trusted infrastructure for securely transacting in the new market for digital assets. In advance of the start of Bakkt’s testing regimen, we wanted to share what we see as some of the benefits we’re bringing to help grow this market.”
Some believe that the futures contracts are a lofty goal that may not be attained. However, ICE Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher has always compared the launch to the first astronaut landing on the moon, calling them both a “moonshot.” This moonshot, though, according to White, is ground on Earth and is designed to support the adoption of blockchain technology. Just like Neil Armstrong was able to make one small step for man, Bakkt expects to make one small step for blockchain.
Probably as no small coincidence, the launch of the crypto futures testing will take place two days after the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s descent onto the moon.
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