BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Bakkt to Launch ‘In the Very Near Future’ According to Intercontinental Exchange CEO

NEW YORK – Intercontinental Exchange’s CEO Jeffery Sprecher stated bitcoin (BTC) futures trading platform Bakkt will be launching soon during a quarterly earnings call.

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According to Sprecher, Bakkt is “working to develop a regulated ecosystem that services the evolving needs of [participants] around the world.”

“Subject to final regulatory approvals, we plan to launch our physically settled bitcoin futures in the very near future.”

The project was initially slated for launch in January, but has since faced stiff regulatory roadblocks.

Bakkt’s official launch date has yet to be announced.

Adam White

“THIS IS NO SMALL STEP,” SAID BAKKT COO ADAM WHITE.

“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. THIS RESULTS IN LOWER TRADING VOLUMES, LIQUIDITY, AND PRICE TRANSPARENCY THAN MORE ESTABLISHED MARKETS LIKE ICE’S BRENT CRUDE FUTURES CONTRACT, WHICH HAS EARNED GLOBAL TRUST IN SETTING THE WORLD’S PRICE OF CRUDE OIL.”

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Bitcoin Futures Platform Bakkt will Begin Testing July 22

NEW YORK – Bakkt, Intercontinental Exchange’s bitcoin (BTC) futures trading platform, has stated they plan to test its two future contacts on July 22.

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Bakkt’s COO, Adam White, said the platform with “initiate user acceptance testing.”

In a recent blog post, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) included new details regarding Bakkt’s monthly contact and provided an update regarding contract specifications for their daily contacts.

Both the monthly and daily contracts will have a minimum price fluctuation of $2.50, with each contact containing at least one BTC.

A listing cycle can last as long as 12 months for the monthly contracts and 70 successive contract dates on the daily contracts.

Settlement for both contacts will be at the Bakkt Warehouse.

Customers will receive actual BTC on the contract’s expiration, unlike current BTC future contacts offered by CME Group, which is cash-settled.

According to White, Bakkt hopes “to support the development of trusted infrastructure for securely transacting in the new market for digital assets.”

The project was initially slated for launch in January, but has since faced stiff regulatory roadblocks.

Bakkt’s official launch date has yet to be announced.

Adam White

“This is no small step,” White said.

“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. This results in lower trading volumes, liquidity, and price transparency than more established markets like ICE’s Brent Crude futures contract, which has earned global trust in setting the world’s price of crude oil.”

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

ICE’s Bakkt May Be Seeking a New York Crypto Custody License

NEW YORK – Bakkt, Intercontinental Exchange’s bitcoin futures trading platform, may be seeking a New York crypto license.

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According to Bloomberg, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is turning to the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to receive a license after being postponed for five months.

The delays have been placed on cynicism from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the regulatory body in charge of bitcoin futures.

The CFTC apprehensive take is due to how clients’ tokens will be stored and whether investors have enough safeguards against theft and manipulation.

ICE is hoping a regulatory stamp of approval from the NYDFS will conciliate the CFTC.

However, even with a state license, ICE will still need an endorsement by the CFTC on the Bakkt project.

Spokesmen for ICE and the CFTC declined to comment.

Bakkt hopes to solve two main problems they believe is holding bitcoin back from mainstream adoption; Institutional investors entering the sector, as well as, enabling “consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.”

The project was initially slated for launch in November, but regulatory hurdles have plagued the platform since.

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler stated the company is continuing to work with the CFTC, but they’re “not yet able to provide a launch date.”

Kelly Loeffler
Kelly Loeffler

“While we’re not yet able to provide a launch date, we’re making solid progress in bringing the first physical delivery price discovery contracts for Bitcoin to the U.S., where price formation will occur in federally regulated, transparent markets,” Loeffler said in a Medium post on March 29.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

Former IBM, Cisco Executive Joins Bakkt’s Board of Directors

Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, has announced Tom Noonan, former executive at both IBM and Cisco, will be joining Bakkt’s board of directors.

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Kelly Loeffler
Kelly Loeffler

“We are charting a new course and it requires significant work,” said Loeffler.

“Chairing the board is Tom Noonan, a cyber expert and founder of numerous cybersecurity companies, including Internet Security Systems (IBM), JouleX (Cisco) and Endgame.”

Also joining Loeffler on the board are Jeff Sprecher, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as well as, Akshay Naheta, Managing Partner at Softbank, and Sean Collins, Managing Partner at Goldfinch Partners.

In a recent blog post, Loeffler stated security concerns and market manipulation is the most important reason for Bakkt.

“With ongoing reports of crypto market manipulation and security concerns, the need for the solutions we’re building at Bakkt is more critical than ever,” stated Loeffler.

“It illustrates why regulated custody and market-based solutions for digital assets are at the core of our work to address risks that have discouraged many from interacting with digital assets. Security, infrastructure and regulatory clarity are cornerstones for building trust, and ultimately to help this technology serve people around the world.”

Bakkt is working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to acquire regulatory approval.

As for an official launch date, the time target for a physical BTC futures market is still unclear.

“While we’re not yet able to provide a launch date, we’re making solid progress in bringing the first physical delivery price discovery contracts for bitcoin to the U.S., where price formation will occur in federally regulated, transparent markets,” stated Loeffler.

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

ICE, Blockchain Startup Blockstream Launch Cryptocurrency Data Feed

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, has announced they will be partnering with blockchain startup Blockstream to start a new cryptocurrency-based data feed.

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“With the broad array of cryptocurrencies and exchanges, and given the price variances between exchanges, it’s critical that investors have a comprehensive source of pricing information. We’re excited to work with Blockstream, which is focused on bringing institutional-quality data to the market, and we look forward to expanding the feed and our strategic relationship with Blockstream over time,” said Lynn Martin, Data Services President and COO of the company.

Pulling data from at least 15 different exchanges, ICE Data Services’ will display real-time data including prices and order book data for cryptocurrencies.

The Cryptocurrency Data Feed will deliver cost information against fiat currencies.

Blockstream will accumulate and arrangement the information to assist investors track how markets are operating.

The information will contain real-time price information, as well as historical pricing.

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