Bakkt, an offshoot company from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has just announced it has received approval and would be launching by September. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) also corroborated this through an announcement from Linda A. Lacewell, the Superintendent of Financial Services. Bakkt will now officially begin offering physically-settled Bitcoin futures contracts by the 23rd of September, 2019. According to Lacewell:
“As the financial services industry rapidly evolves, DFS will be at the forefront of fostering a sound, regulatory environment that continues to uphold New York as the premier place to do business, while protecting consumers and markets. This approval demonstrates New York’s competitiveness as a hub of innovation and leadership in emerging technologies.”
Initially announced about a year ago, Bakkt disclosed that it would be making available, monthly and daily contracts, settled by its Bakkt Warehouse. Now, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler, has announced that the “contracts have already received the green light from the CFTC through the self-certification process, and user acceptance testing has begun.” Loeffler then added that:
“With approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services to create Bakkt Trust Company, a qualified custodian, the Bakkt Warehouse will custody Bitcoin for physically delivered futures. This offers customers unprecedented regulatory clarity and security alongside a regulated, globally accessible exchange in a market undeserved by institutional-grade infrastructure.”
The Bakkt announcement further states that the Bitcoin futures contracts will be exchange-traded and cleared on ICE Futures U.S. and ICE Clear U.S., both fully regulated by the CFTC. This is to ensure proper risk management, conformity as well as market surveillance.
Bakkt is easily the first of its kind to receive full authorization and enter the market. However, it may have to worry about competitors like LedgerX and ErisX , which are both working on entering the Bitcoin futures contract market. Other notable competitors include Seed CX and trueDigitial.