Bakkt, Intercontinental Exchange’s bitcoin (BTC) futures trading platform, has announced they will be delaying its launch until January 24, 2019.

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Originally slated to launch on December 12, the platform clarified “the new listing timeframe will provide additional time for customer and clearing member onboarding prior to the start of trading and warehousing of the new contract.”

In an official statement, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said the “volume of interest” and the “work required to get all the pieces in place” added to the delay.

Kelly Loeffler
Kelly Loeffler

“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.”

The new late January launch date is still subject to regulatory approval.

The Bakkt platform promises to offer physically-settled BTC futures, allowing customers to receive BTC upon contract completion, rather than cash settlements.

In the new statement, Loeffler hinted the platform may offer more cryptocurrencies stating “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,” she said.

Bakkt previously announced it was working with Microsoft, Starbucks, and BCG, adding the companies have provided assistance in both risk management and customer service for the product.

Question: Why are you starting with bitcoin, and will you add other digital currencies?

Answer: Bitcoin today accounts for over half of total crypto market capitalization and has been deemed to be a commodity, and its derivatives are regulated in the US by the CFTC. As the world’s most liquid and widely distributed cryptocurrency, and where we’ve seen the most customer demand, bitcoin’s profile creates a liquid product on which to build a futures contract. We’ll consider additional contracts as the landscape evolves and as we receive additional customer feedback about what they want and need.

Question: How is the price of bitcoin going to be established?

AnswerGiven the transparency and regulation of the futures markets, the futures price in a one-day physically settled bitcoin contract will serve as a price discovery contract for the market. There is no reliance on cash platforms for settlement prices for pricing the daily bitcoin futures contract.

Question: When will trading and warehousing begin?

Answer: We expect the contract to launch on January 24, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. We’ll continue to update you on our progress and milestones.

Question: Is Bakkt hiring?

Answer: Yes, inquiries may be sent to info@bakkt.com. We are focused on building a nimble, entrepreneurial team with a focus on serving our customers and delivering results. Key success factors in our culture include collaboration, problem solving, communication, integrity, and professionalism and leadership.

Thank you for your continued interest and feedback as we build out Bakkt. As we talk with those in this space, we are motivated by the opportunity to help shape the future of digital currency. We look forward to updating you on our progress in coming weeks.

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