Bakkt to begin Bitcoin Futures Testing in July

After months of delay, Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) Bakkt platform is finally inching closer to a launch date for its physically settled Bitcoin Futures products. In a blog post, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler announced that the platform will begin user acceptance testing for bitcoin futures custody and trading in July 2019.

While its derivatives products have not got an explicit go-ahead from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the blog informed that the platform has “…worked closely with the CFTC to develop contracts that both meet our customers’ needs for trading, transparency, and market certainty, and are also compliant with Federal regulations.”

The company also revealed some further information about its futures products. The company plans to list two futures contracts:

  • Daily settlement bitcoin future that will enable customers to transact in a same-day market
  • Monthly bitcoin futures contract will enable trading in the front month and across the forward pricing curve

Bakkt will contribute $35 million into the clearinghouse risk waterfall. This puts our own skin in the game and aligns our interests for market integrity and safety with market participants.

Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt

In addition, the custody service for physical storage and secure custody of Bitcoin will be done by Bakkt’s own qualified custodian, which is subject to regulatory approvals.The company said that it is working with the New York State Department of Financial Services to become a trust company and operate as a qualified custodian for digital assets.

Bakkt has not set a launch date for its Bitcoin Futures yet, but only said that it will be listed on a federally regulated futures exchange in the coming months. The news of the Bakkt launch, combined with other positive news such as Microsoft’s digital identity solution on the Bitcoin blockchain and big retailers accepting cryptocurrency payments, has led to a huge jump in the market with Bitcoin inching close to the $8000 mark.

(Image Credit:Marco Verch | Flickr)