Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced on Monday that it will list Bitcoin futures on its platform, Bakkt, for trading on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, pending regulatory approval.
On Bakkt, which is a platform for trading, storing and spending digital assets, the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contracts will be physically-settled and cleared by ICE Clear US.
According to the document released this Monday: “Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in US dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.”
Whilst there is already mainstream and established futures exchanges, including those run by Cboe Global Markets and CME Group, that already offer Bitcoin futures, they are cash-settled. This means that the actual cryptocurrency does not change hands.
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This is where Bakkt is different, as it involves the transfer of the cryptocurrency instead of cash, providing direct access to the digital asset by putting the actual bitcoins in the customer’s account at the end of the trade.
Since the announcement of the launch of Bakkt back in August, which Finance Magnates reported on at the time, ICE has also stated that it will not support margin trading for its BTC contract. Reportedly, by not allowing for margin, leverage and cash settlement it will be able to better support market integrity.
ICE delays launch of Bakkt until December
When the platform was originally announced in August, ICE said that it would launch the first regulated, physically-delivered bitcoin futures contracts in November of this year. However, the statement released on Monday now states that these contracts will be launched in December, following regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The exchange operator did not immediately give a reason for the delay and could be the result of a number of factors.