Bakkt, the highly anticipated cryptocurrency exchange backed by New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has officially launched.
The digital asset trading platform went live at 8 PM EST on September 22. Since its launch, 26 Bitcoin (BTC) in volume has been traded.
Based in Atlanta and led by former head of investor relations at ICE Kelly Loeffler, Bakkt introduces the first physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts.
The last recorded trading price, at time of writing, for Bakkt’s monthly futures contract is $10,002.50/BTC.
Several crypto analysts took to Twitter to point out that Bakkt’s volume levels are quite low.
Prominent digital asset trader Alex Krüger noted:
“CME bitcoin futures traded $460 million on its first week. Current volume is around $700 million. The Van Eck fake ETF traded $0 on its first week.
How much volume will Bakkt attract is a key variable for the week ahead. Would you expect Bakkt to flop or to launch successfully?”
“Probably a more gradual scale-up since it’s physical. With CME futures, anyone with the right FCM [Futures Commission Merchant] could immediately trade on launch. I’d think the incremental demand (beyond CME) would come from people who want to buy or sell physical for delivery, at least at first. Receiving could be instant (use FCM to convert), but I’m kind of thinking depositing physical will be gradual.”
Thomas Lee, an analyst at Fundstrat Global Advisors, noted via Twitter on September 20 that he was “very positive on Bakkt and its ability to improve trust with institutions to crypto.”