NYSE Owner Backed Bakkt Announces Sep 23 Launch

The long-awaited launch of Bakkt, a cryptocurrency futures platform backed by the owners of NYSE is finally happening on Sep 23. Bakkt offers the world’s first physically-settled futures contracts and was initially scheduled to launch during the last quarter of 2018.

But a slew of problems with approvals for its services delayed the launch. The futures platform has self-certified its contracts and recently received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to custody bitcoin for its futures product. It began user acceptance testing of its daily and one-month contracts towards the end of July.  

In its Medium post announcing the launch, Bakkt wrote that the exchange is solving “for factors that have slowed institutional participation.” “Whether concerns related to a lack of liquidity, market quality and regulation, or issues with reliability, fees, and operational risks, we are addressing these challenges with a transparent offering.”

To that extent, Bitcoin prices on Bakkt’s platform will not be based on unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges. It will also have a clearinghouse to vet trades and has developed a warehouse for physical custody of Bitcoin being traded on its platform. The warehouse is insured to the tune of $100 million.