Contrary to expectation, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) will no longer launch its Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading platform, Bakkt, next month. On its blog, ICE said that Bakkt, which it unveiled in August 2018, will now launch on January 24th, 2019.
Explaining further, the press release disclosed that trading and warehouse operations will definitely start on the same day. However, ICE offered some explanation for its decision to extend the launch date of the futures trading platform. As for the reason, ICE said that “the new listing time-frame will provide additional time for customer and clearing member onboarding” before proper kickoff.
In-depth explanation for delaying the Futures Trading Platform
While this announcement may appear disappointing to many in the market, the platform was all over the place to clarify it. In fact, Bakkt’s CEO Kelly Loeffler took to Medium to add to the explanation. According to the chief executive, there are two major factors that necessitated the postponement. Loeffler identified the “the volume of interest” and “the work” her team needed to do to. She maintained that the postponement had become necessary as the team has to get its acts together.
In the post, she indicated that there are two processes in product launch: “risks and mitigants to test and retest.” In that regard, it makes perfect sense that ICE adjusted the Bakkt launch date since it is working with the industry, she added.
The cause of the delay is unclear
Although the platform didn’t categorically state it, people believe that regulatory approval could be the challenge it is currently facing. Indeed, the new launch date is still subject to regulatory approval; an indication that ICE has yet to secure that. Investors were expectant that the December 12th launch date was sacrosanct, only for them to receive the shock of a launch delay.
Expanding the spectrum of product
Initially, ICE announced that it would launch physically-settled BTC futures, which allows users to receive Bitcoins when their contracts expire. However, Loeffler’s post Tuesday hinted that ICE might be offering more than only that particular product. In the post, she revealed that the platform is leveraging the vast opportunities in its startup phase to expand its offering.
In addition, she provides assurance to the would-be investors that the company would reveal the details “in the coming weeks.” In fact, she said that the company remains committed to develop an institutional-grade crypto warehouse to build investor confidence in the cryptocurrency industry.
On the progress made, CEO Loeffler revealed that the company has secured insurance for Bitcoin in cold storage. Continuing, she noted that her team is on the verge of securing the same for a warm wallet with the “Bakkt Warehouse architecture.” Additionally, the company earlier announced that it entered into partnership with Microsoft, BCG and Starbucks. Therefore, the launch of the futures trading platform still seems to be imminent.
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