Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch Date Revealed

News and Analysis

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has confirmed that its upcoming cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt will officially launch on December 12, pending regulatory approval.

Bakkt is a platform for trading, storing, and spending digital assets that was established earlier this year by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operator ICE in partnership with Microsoft, Starbucks and BCG.

According to the ICE-issued document revealing details about Bakkt’s launch, the physical Bitcoin backing the futures contract will be held in a so-called “digital asset warehouse.”

“Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in U.S. dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.”

These futures contracts will be cleared through ICE Clear US, another subsidiary of the exchange.

While the announcement only mentions USD pairs, a Tweet from Bakkt last month stated that the launch would include GBP and EUR trading pairs as well.

Bakkt previously revealed that it will not support margin trading for its BTC contracts. By refraining from allowing for margin, leverage and cash settlement, the platform will reportedly better support market integrity and enable the “trusted price formation” that it says is the key to “advancing the promise of digital currencies.”

This news comes less than a fortnight after Bakkt announced that it had hired Adam White, former vice president of Coinbase, as its chief operating officer.

In December 2017, Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and Chicago Board Operations Exchange (CBOE) both launched BTC futures, however, on those platforms the futures are settled in cash rather than in actual Bitcoins.

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