Bakkt Delays Launch of Bitcoin Futures Market

The CEO of Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, has written in a blog post that her company, Bakkt, is delaying the much-anticipated release of its daily Bitcoin futures product and crypto custodial warehouse until January 24th, 2019, “…subject to regulatory approval.”

“We’ll continue to update you on our progress and milestones,” she writes in the FAQ section of the post.

Loeffler cites “volume of interest” as well as technical complexities involving “new processes, risks and mitigants to test and re-test” as reasons for the delay.

Loefller also says that Bakkt has decided to, “tak(e) opportunities in our start-up phase to expand our offering…(to include) insurance for bitcoin in cold storage and…for the warm wallet within the Bakkt Warehouse architecture.”

Bakkt is a new offshoot of ICE (Intercontinental Exchange), the New York-based company running several of the world’s busiest stock exchanges.

Bakkt aims to be one of the companies bridging the gap between traditional and so-called digital asset markets by providing regulator-approved products.

Loeffler says that Bakkt is accordingly working closely with the CFTC, “…as they conduct their thorough review of the Bakkt™ Bitcoin Daily Futures contract and the Bakkt Warehouse.”

Both the CME and the CBOE have been selling Bitcoin futures since last December, but both of those products settle monthly.

Theoretically, Bitcoin futures can be used Bitcoin miners to offset losses experienced during market downturns such as the current one, in which bitcoin is currently trading for less than $5000 US.

But increasing concerns among American regulators and law enforcement about manipulation on the cryptocurrency exchanges providing spot pricing for Bitcoin futures markets may have contributed to the SEC’s recent reticence around approving a number of proposed Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US.

As well, individuals on CryptoTwitter have periodically expressed suspicion over the monthly settlement of Bitcoin futures and seemingly concurrent price dumps in regular Bitcoin markets, which they allege suggests certain “whales” may be timing cash outs in both markets.

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