Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Market Launch May Be Postponed Once More

New York Stock Exchange’s Parent Company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is reportedly going to delay its launch of Bakkt, its Bitcoin futures custody and trading platform, for a second time in as many months. In a previous report, Smartereum learnt that the startup had initially set a January 24 date to launch its Bitcoin futures trading platform. But it appears things are not moving as they should. The primary problem is ICE’s inability to get the necessary regulatory approval from the CFTC (United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission). According to the report at the current pace in which the financial regulatory agency is moving at, it is becoming more and more unlikely that there will be any approvals secured in time to get the January launch target. Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD
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January 30 May Be Likely Launch Date, Sources Say

It is important to indicate that because the CFTC hasn’t granted ICE the necessary licenses, does not mean that it won’t ultimately approve their plan. One person familiar with CFTC’s inner workings said a January 30 launch may still be plausible, meaning that the delay could be only for a matter of days. The CFTC must provide an exemption for Bakkt’s intention to custody Bitcoin (BTC) for its clients in its “warehouse according to several sources familiar with the ongoing regulatory discussions. CFTC regulations typically require that consumer funds be held in a bank, trust firm or futures commission merchant. The sources say the agency’s staff have actually finished reviewing Bakkt’s exemption request. They have passed it on to the commission on Friday.  Now it is up to the commissioners to vote on whether or not to put the proposal out for public comment. Following a 30-day comment period, all commissioners with the CFTC would take a couple of days to look at the comments, before voting on the proposal. Here is the deal, Monday and Tuesday are federal employee holidays. Hence, unless the government officials choose to work on their off days, the earliest date that they are likely to vote on for a public comment period will start on Wednesday, 26, December which one day after Christmas. This will push the final vote to a Jan 24 launch date without considering the time required to read the comments made by the public. Additionally, the possibility of a potential US government shutdown is also threatening to derail the process.

Second Source: ICE Unlikely to Set a Second Target Date Until Next Week

According to a second source, ICE is likely going to issue a new launch target date but not until next week. This is the exchange’s second postponement of its Bitcoin futures market launch. ICE originally intended to launch Bakkt in December. However, in November, the company postponed the launch citing volume of interests and work needed to put things in motion as reasons why a delay was necessary. Unlike CME and Cboe’s Bitcoin futures, Bakkt is going to be physically settled. This means that actual Bitcoin (BTC) will change hands instead of fiat when smart contracts expire.

Princess Ogono is a writer, lawyer and fitness enthusiast. She believes cryptocurrencies are the future. When she's not writing, she spends time with her adorable cat, Ginger and works out often.


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