ICE Shifts Bitcoin Futures Launch to January 2019

ICE Shifts Bitcoin Futures Launch to January 2019

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the company that operates the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has postponed the launch of its Bitcoin futures trading platform until January 2019.

The Fortune 500 company, which is behind most exchanges in the world, has stated that its Bakkt trading platform now has a target launch date of January 24, 2019, and is also subject to approval from regulators.

Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt, was quoted in a Medium blog as saying, “Given the volume of interest in Bakkt and work required to get all of the pieces in place, we will now be targeting January 24, 2019, for our launch to ensure that our participants are ready to trade on Day 1.”

Previously, December 12, 2018, was the projected launch date for its Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures Contract. But speaking on the reasons for the shift, Loeffler stated that “with product launches, there are new processes, risks and mitigants to test and re-test, and in case of crypto, a new asset class to which these resources are being applied. So it makes sense to adjust our timeline as we work with the industry toward launch.”

Recall that back in August, the ICE unveiled Bakkt “which leveraged Microsoft cloud to deliver a company that will enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.” In addition to Microsoft, Starbucks, and the Boston Consulting Group are the other organizations that will be working with Bakkt. In October, Bakkt announced that it had begun testing and having onboard members and customers for November while warehousing and trading were expected to kick off in December.

With this new development, Loeffler added that Bakkt is collaborating with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) closely, as they review the Bakkt warehouse and futures contracts. She further stated that “[t]hese products represent a critical shift in the evolution of crypto markets toward more accessible, useful, and regulated instruments.”

In addition to the “physically-settled Bitcoin futures” expected to be launched by the company, Loeffler has hinted that the platform “may offer more than that as it looks to opportunities in our startup phase to expand our offering.” She concluded that most of these features will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

In conclusion

The operator of the New York Stock Exchange has shifted the launch date of its Bitcoin futures platform to January 2019. According to the CEO of Bakkt, this shift was necessitated because of the increasing volume of interest in the platform and the need to “get all of the pieces in place.”

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