The world’s first US regulated bitcoin settled futures are to begin testing this Monday, July 22nd, with an event inaugurating the launch held this Thursday at NYSE’s Board Room.
“We’re sitting in the NYSE Board Room – that’s a first for bitcoin,” Dan Pantera, one of the earliest bitcoin and crypto professional investor, said at the Bakkt Institutional Digital Asset Summit.
Little has come out from the summit so far, with it unclear whether any media was invited, but that the event was held shows Bakkt is now moving ahead with the testing launch of bitcoin futures this Monday after a months long process.
It appears they have gained the greenlight from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) through self certification, with long negotiations leading to policy adaptation of old regulations.
Specifically, a bank or trust company was required by regulations to hold deposits. For bitcoin, of course, no bank provides this service, so Bakkt’s way around it was to apply for a trust status from New York’s Department of Financial Services [NYDFS].
It does look like this trust status is sort of as of right, with laws compelling NYDFS to grant it unless there’s a very good reason to do otherwise.
Thus, since they are now to begin testing, it may be the condition was for Bakkt to just apply for the status, rather than for them to wait until it is actually granted.
Since for NYSE’s ICE this is a first, naturally they’ll be going a bit slowly to start with, but where CFTC is concerned, they already have their eyes on eth.
“When asked about other cryptoassets, Commissioner Stump referenced CFTC’s recent request for information on Ethereum, saying, ‘Bitcoin is not the end of the road,'” says Chris Burniske, partner at a venture firm called Placeholder.
CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump is likely referring to a request for information late last year when CFTC sought “to understand similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including Ether and Bitcoin, as well as Ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
Shortly after, it was reported CFTC was happy to greenlight ethereum regulated futures after clarity was reached following the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) statement that ethereum is not a security.
Only bitcoin and ethereum have gained this regulatory certainty so far, with both indirectly under the jurisdiction of CFTC which has powers to investigate potential trading manipulation for both cryptos.
This clarity has allowed bitcoin to carve the path towards Wall Street and institutional investors, including potentially pension funds, with Bakkt’s bitcoin settled one day delivery futures offerings making it potentially a more convenient way for institutional investors to buy and hold actual bitcoin.
After some months and presuming it all goes well, ethereum will then probably follow, with the two top cryptos so beginning their integration into mainstream finance.