Launch of Bakkt, Bitcoin Futures Exchange to be delayed, yet again?

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world have been waiting for the launch of Bakkt Exchange which is a bitcoin futures exchange being launched by Intercontinental Exchange which is the parent company of New York Stock Exchange, the largest stock exchange by market capitalization. The Bakkt Exchange launch which was earlier planned for December 2018 was delayed by the company and the launch date was set for 24th January 2019. However, the launch is likely to be delayed yet again as The Intercontinental Exchange has still not received the approval from the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission or CFTC. There may be a delay for the approval which shall ultimately lead to the delay in the launch of Bakkt.

What’s Next for Bakkt?

Though Bakkt has not yet received approvals from the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission, this does not mean they are not going to approve it and the delay could be just a few days and Bakkt may launch somewhere around the starting days of February 2018. Bakkt has applied for an exception to custody bitcoin in its own warehouse on the behalf of its customers although according to current regulations, the funds of the customers shall be held by either a bank, a commission merchant or a trust company.

The internal staff of the agency has already reviewed the exemption request and passed it to the CFTC yesterday i.e. 21st December 2018. Now the commissioners of the CFTC have to vote on if the proposal is to be put out for public comment. The comment period goes on for 30 days after which the commissioners will most likely take a few days to go through the comments and then vote on the same.

However, the delay may move the launch to February as the 30 days public comment period will most likely start on 26th December because of the Christmas holidays on 24th and 25th December. After a month’s time, i.e. most likely on 26th January, the commissioners shall start to read the public comments which shall further take a few days before they actually come up with a decision.

Bakkt is yet to announce a delayed launch date but will most likely announce the same in the coming few days once they are themselves sure of the same. The following delay will be the 2nd delay for the launch of Bakkt which was earlier planned to be launched in December this year.

What’s different in Bakkt?

The bitcoin futures which will be offered by Bakkt shall be physically settled which means that the bitcoin will change hands rather than cash when the contracts expire. The current bitcoin futures offered by CME group and Cboe are not physically settled. Also, the most interesting part of Bakkt is that the exchange is owned and will be controlled by the Intercontinental Exchange which owns the largest stock exchange in the world i.e. the New York Stock Exchange. Cryptocurrency Analysts are predicting that Bakkt will push the adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to a whole new level with massive institutional adoption.

Nadja Eriksson

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