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Bakkt to Test Bitcoin Futures and Custody in July

Bakkt to Test Bitcoin Futures and Custody in July

Institutional grade cryptocurrency platform Bakkt may have caught a lucky break yet after a slight bump in its initial launch schedule, as it plans to kick off with its user acceptance testing (UAT) for bitcoin futures custody and trading.

CEO of Bakkt Kelly Loeffler issued an update on the launch strategy in a blog post. She noted that collaboration with ICE Futures US and ICE Clear US was in the works to help launch Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts and expressed optimism on the test launch scheduled for July:

“In conjunction with our exchange and clearing partners at ICE, we’ll be working with our customers over the next several weeks to prepare for user acceptance testing (UAT) for futures and custody, which we expect to start in July.”

After a long delay in the launch of the platform, which was essentially due to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) concern over the proposed platform’s custody protocol. However, it appears they are making headways in that direction. Moreover, Loeffler hinted Bitcoin futures will be listed on a federally regulated futures exchange in the coming months. She further remarked:

“We’ve worked closely with the CFTC to develop contracts that both meet our customers’ needs for trading, transparency, and market certainty, and are also compliant with Federal regulations.”

As a matter of update to the Bitcoin futures product, Loeffler clarified certain security and risk management modifications made to the contract which emerged as a result of conversations with stakeholders.

These updates include the formation of two new futures contracts to be listed – a daily and monthly settlement, tools to effectively monitor aberrant prices, a USD 35 million contribution by Bakkt into the clearinghouse, and an integrated custody service subject to regulatory approval.

Although no specific date has been announced, it appears that should the CFTC find no problem with Bakkt’s proposal to self-certify through its parent company, ICE, the outcome would be a major milestone for the project.

In April, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was reportedly seeking a New York license to facilitate the Bakkt’s launch, considering that the license grants the platform permission from New York’s Department of Financial Services to hold tokens.


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