Intercontinental Exchange's Bakkt could get the green-light to launch its bitcoin futures product as soon as next week, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.
Bakkt, the cryptocurrency platform, in recent weeks has been meeting frequently with regulators from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to get its product approved. A source said the regulator could approve the so-called Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract by the first week of November.
Bakkt announced earlier this week that its futures contracts would begin trading on December 12 pending regulatory approval, confirming a report by The Block published prior to the announcement.
Bitcoin futures allow traders to bet on the future price of the coin or hedge their positions in the underlying bitcoin market. Trading of bitcoin futures has been relatively muted on other markets, including CME Group and Cboe Global Markets. As reported by Bloomberg News, a mere 9,000 contracts traded a day on CME and Cboe in Q3 2018. “It has not been what you would call a roaring success,” Craig Pirrong, a finance professor at the University of Houston, told Bloomberg.
Still, Bakkt's product is unique from the ones trading on CME and Cboe inasmuch as it is a physically-settled future, not a cash-settled one. That means traders, at the end of the contract lifespan, will receive a payout in bitcoin itself, not cash, if he or she is on the winning side of the bet.
DV Trading, a Chicago trading shop, will trade Bakkt's product, according to a source. And Goldman Sachs is considering trading on Bakkt, as per an earlier exclusive report by The Block.
Bakkt has been building out its team. Notably, as The Block first reported, the firm hired Adam White from Coinbase as chief operating officer.
Reporting by Frank Chaparro.