Bakkt could soon proceed with its Bitcoin futures product if the CFTC does not raise any objections within 10 days.
We’ll Be Bakkt…Soonish
Bakkt could be cleared to proceed in just 10 short days pending Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approval. Or rather, pending lack of CFTC disapproval.
In other words, you probably won’t be trading Bakkt futures in 11 days time. Should the CFTC have no objections, Bakkt intends to prepare for user acceptance testing (UAT) of its futures and custody solutions.
The UAT has an expected start date of July, and will ensure that customers can onboard, and test the trading and custody model.
Bakkt To The Futures
Bakkt also provided more details about the futures contracts it will offer once launched.
Two varieties will be available: a daily settlement contract, and a monthly futures contract. Price formation will utilise tools to detect disruptive practices such as wash trading. Contracts will be margined in a manner consistent with capital-efficient risk management in other global futures markets.
Additionally, Bakkt will contribute $35 million into the clearinghouse risk waterfall, aligning its interests for integrity and safety with other market participants.
Who Is Left Holding Bitcoin?
Finally, Bakkt also revealed that it is working with New York State Department of Financial Services to become a qualified custodian. The digital assets warehousing solution ‘will be supported by insurance, cybersecurity, and comprehensive compliance’.
However, their blog post made no mention of how far along this process was, leading some commentators to question the feasibility of the July start to UAT.
Bakkt makes a play for Blockchain Week news coverage by self-certifying their bitcoin futures with the CFTC, a good step forward.
But, they still can’t launch until NYDFS approves their warehouse, which could take a while.
They predict July 2019. I’ll believe it when I see it. https://t.co/a5ctocUbhA
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) May 13, 2019
Can We Trust Promised Start Dates?
Since its announcement last summer, Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) physically-settled Bitcoin futures product, Bakkt, has promised to pave the way for institutional investors.
But a proposed November 2018 launch date found itself pushed back a month to December, and then postponed indefinitely.
It is a sad indictment on the state of cryptocurrency legislation and regulation, that none of the other products vying for institutional investment has beaten it to market.
Regulators do seem keen to drag their feet when it comes to approving crypto-based investment vehicles such as ETFs and futures contracts.
Self-certification may have skirted the worst of the CFTC red-tape, but that July 2019 testing date is far from guaranteed.
Will Bakkt Bitcoin futures go live in July? Share your predictions below!
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