The Intercontinental Exchange has been working fervently on their cryptocurrency platform Bakkt for the better part of the year.
Bakkt has been awaiting their launch date, which has officially been announced as December 12th, and it is described by ICE as “an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.” With the launch, ICE has noted that the platform will make physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts a part of the platform. Any bitcoins contributed as a result of the offering will be stored in a safe location – the ICE Digital Asset Warehouse.
Many investors see Bakkt as the “flagship institutional organization pressing into the digital asset space,” according to a report from Abacus Journal. Some of the investors that support its creation include Eagle Seven, Fortress Investment Group, Alan Howard, Galaxy Digital, Pantera Capital, Horizons Ventures, and others.
Jeremy Sprecher, the founder, chairman, and CEO of ICE, said,
“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets.”
All of the futures contracts will be validated through another subsidiary of ICE called ICE Clear US. The announcement said, “Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse and will trade in U.S. dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.” The decision to offer bitcoin futures contract was announced when Bakkt became a reality, allowing participants to cash out with Bitcoin from their futures products, instead of requiring a cash payout.
The original launch of Bakkt was planned for some time in November. The only milestone that ICE was waiting for at that time was the approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Even with all of the information provided regarding the new launch date, no reason was given for the delay.