Coindesk report notes that ICE is yet to receive the necessary approvals from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). It is highly unlikely that the approvals could be secured in time to hit the target date of 24th January.
Notably, this does not imply that the CFTC won’t approve, in fact, a person familiar with the agency’s inner workings stated that the delay could be a matter of days and even a Jan. 30 launch could be a possibility. CFTC regulations normally necessitate that customer funds be held by a bank, trust company or futures commission merchant (FCM). In Bakkt’s scenario, the platform seeks an exemption for it’s plan to custody bitcoin on behalf of its clients in its own “warehouse.”
One of the sources added that the agency’s staff has finished reviewing Bakkt’s exemption request and passed it to the commission on Friday. Now the commissioners will debate and vote whether to put out the proposal for public comment or not. After a 30-day comment period, the commissioners would further take at least a couple days to read the comments, and then vote on the proposal itself.
All’s well in the aforementioned scenario, however, according to the new executive order by the U.S president Trump, Monday and Tuesday are now federal employee holidays. Implying that the commissioners would likely vote on a public comment period and thereby start the 30-day clock is Wednesday, Dec. 26, the day after Christmas.
This has already pushed the final vote past Bakkt’s Jan. 24 launch target. Add in the time for reading the public comments and the time taken to ponder over them. The exchange is likely to issue an updated launch target date probably by the next week, another source said.
Originally, Bakkt was planned to launch on December, but it was delayed citing the “volume of interest” in the company and the “work required to get all the pieces in place” as a reason for the delay. A lot of crypto bulls are depending on Bakkt’s approval and its subsequent launch as they assert that this will open the market for institutional investors, eventually not just taking Bitcoin out from its bear condition but likely causing a bull.