The Highly-Anticipated Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch is Delayed to January 2019

The highly-anticipated Bitcoin Futures by ICE’s Bakkt has officially been delayed from December 12, 2018 to until January 24, 2019. Bakkt announced the postponement via Medium this Tuesday.

Unfortunately, this delay could not have come at a worse time. The crypto markets have already been tanking for the past few days and many crypto enthusiasts were anticipating the launch of Bakkt Bitcoin Futures to have a positive impact on price.

However, according to Kelly Loeffler, the CEO at Bakkt, the delay is unrelated to the recent plummet of cryptocurrencies. She explained that there was still “work required to get all the pieces in place.”

She also added:

As is often true with product launches, there are new processes, risks and mitigants to test and re-test, and in the case of crypto, a new asset class to which these resources are being applied. So, it makes sense to adjust our timeline as we work with the industry toward launch.

In addition, Loeffler said:

As we speed into the US holiday season and toward year-end, there’s no shortage of progress at Bakkt.

The team at Bakkt has been working hard on customer on-boarding and securing regulatory approvals by working closely with the CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission). The CFTC is very diligent and thorough in their review process, hence the delay.

The new date set for January 24, 2019 is subject to regulatory approval by the CFTC.

Bakkt Bitcoin Futures

Bakkt is a new trading platform launched by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), and it’s launching physically-settled Bitcoin futures meant for institutional investors.

Physically-settled Bitcoin futures are far more important to the cryptocurrency industry than the current futures contracts available.

When the expiration of the contract arrives, clients will receive Bitcoin (BTC) rather than the crypto’s equivalent value in fiat currency. Therefore, Bitcoin will actually be transacted by institutional investors on-chain, which is expected to have a positive impact on Bitcoin’s market cap.

A tidbit of good news from Loeffler’s announcement is that the company may be offering more than just Bitcoin futures.

Later in her Medium post, she stated:

We are taking opportunities in our start-up phase to expand our offering. We’ll share more about some of these new features in the coming weeks but as a start, I’m pleased to announce that we have insurance for bitcoin in cold storage and are in the process of securing insurance for the warm wallet within the Bakkt Warehouse architecture.

While the announcement of this delay may have been upsetting to some at first, it’s positive to know that Bakkt is working hard on new developments.

To further end the announcement on a good note, Loeffler stated:

We are focused on every aspect of delivering an institutional grade crypto warehouse solution and believe this is a significant step in building confidence in this asset class.

What do you think of ICE’s Bakkt? Will the physical Bitcoin futures contracts have a positive impact on the market when it’s launched? Let us know in the comment section below.

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