- The firm will test its first product on July 22
- Bakkt says the regulatory hurdles it has endured were inevitable
- The firm is yet to announced the official launch date
Institutional cryptocurrency platform Bakkt will begin testing its first product, physically delivered bitcoin (BTC) futures on July 22 this year. The firm is eyeing $100 million insurance for storing assets.
Astronaut themed announcement
The Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) subsidiary announced the launch date of the long awaited bitcoin futures product via an announcement post on June 13, 2019. In the post, Bakkt likened its launch to the Apollo 11 landing on the moon with the firm’s Chief Operating officer Adam White saying its parent company will list and trade the futures contract. According to the Astronaut themed blog post, White stated:
“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.”
$100 Million in Insurance
The physically delivered futures product was originally set to go live at the end of 2018 but was postponed because of regulatory hurdles. Still, White says Bakkt’s solution addresses the market pain points elsewhere in the nascent cryptocurrency market.
Bakkt’s COO compared the company’s move to the United States’ first landing on the moon in 1969, echoing the hurdles the firm has experienced in order to provide its fully regulated cryptocurrency products meant for institutional investors. The firm hopes to receive a trust license to become a qualified custodian with $100 million in insurance to deal with concerns surrounding the storage of digital assets tied to its product. The blog post elaborates:
“Subject to regulatory approval, Bakkt’s limited purpose trust company will serve as a qualified custodian for bitcoin, will operate separately from ICE’s futures exchange, will be insured for $100M, and will have separate governance.”
Bakkt will launch in steps
Bakkt initially announced the potential launch dates for their product last year and later in January this year but both dates were postponed as a result of lack of the requisite regulatory approvals. The delay seems to have been occasioned by Bakkt’s plan to store its own bitcoin and clear trades through the ICE clearinghouse. While it hasn’t yet announced the final launch date, Bakkt revealed last month it was self-certifying its futures contracts, which included a daily contract that was previously announced and a monthly contract that was not. Commenting about the test launch date, White said further in the blog spot:
“This is no small step. This launch will usher in a new standard for accessing crypto markets. Compared to other markets, institutional participation in crypto remains constrained due to limitations like market infrastructure and regulatory certainty.”