Bakkt Sets July Test Date for Bitcoin Futures

Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt announced it was moving forward with its plan to launch physically-settled bitcoin futures products Monday.

In a blog post, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler wrote that Bakkt had “worked closely” with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the regulatory agency in charge of overseeing derivatives products in the country, and would be testing its bitcoin futures contracts this summer.

No launch date was announced, and indeed, Loeffler did not explicitly say that the company’s proposal to self-custody its bitcoin and clear through its parent company’s warehouse (Intercontinental Exchange’s ICE Clear US) had been approved.

Nonetheless, she wrote that “we’ll be working with our customers over the next several weeks to prepare for user acceptance testing (UAT) for futures and custody, which we expect to start in July.”

“We expect to use UAT to ensure that customers have time to onboard and can test the trading and custody model we’ve built to their satisfaction,” she wrote.

Future details will be shared in upcoming posts.

Separately, ICE published two documents Monday, detailing the listing and certification of two new products.

Structure

Still, Loeffler shared some details about Bakkt’s upcoming products.

The firm will list two different futures contracts: a daily settlement bitcoin future, “which will enable customers to transact in a same-day market,” and a monthly futures contract.

Bakkt will also place $35 million of its own funding into the clearinghouse risk waterfall, which “puts our own ‘skin in the game’ and aligns our interests for market integrity and safety with market participants.”

Bakkt also plans to use its own qualified custodian to provide custody services, though this remains subject to regulatory approval.

Kelly Loeffler image via CoinDesk archives

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