The much anticipated bitcoin settled futures by NYSE’s parent company, ICE, are to begin testing this July. Adam White, Bakkt COO, said:
“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.”
There will be daily futures and monthly futures both settled by the actual deliverance of bitcoin with Bakkt providing custody services too as well as block trading.
“This is no small step. This launch will usher in a new standard for accessing crypto markets,” White said.
Previously a commissioner from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) stated they are ready to accept self-certification of bitcoin settled futures.
There is no announcement yet of a regulatory greenlight with CFTC having direct jurisdiction over Bakkt futures in a first of its kind.
Their move towards starting testing might indicate perhaps they’re now confident they’ll get approval, with Bakkt potentially playing a secondary role too.
If someone like Starbucks, for example, wanted to accept bitcoin, they could use Bakkt futures to convert proceeds into dollars, so accepting bitcoin in a fully regulatory manner and so avoiding any potential complications.
Institutional investors too could use Bakkt either for themselves as a hedge, or as a pipeline of sorts if they wanted to provide bitcoin services to their customers.
Finally, as this would be fully regulated by an entity that SEC probably considers an actual exchange within the US regulatory framework, it may pave the way for that long awaited bitcoin ETF.
“Bakkt may be a form of moonshot, but it’s grounded in an earthbound endeavor to support the future of finance and the adoption of blockchain technology,” White said.