Bakkt says it will begin testing its long-awaited physically-backed Bitcoin futures trading platform next month.
The company, which is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), says its “moonshot bet” on crypto is designed to build trust in digital assets for both institutions and consumers.
“On July 22, two days after Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, Bakkt will initiate user acceptance testing for its bitcoin futures listed and traded at ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear US.
This is no small step. This launch will usher in a new standard for accessing crypto markets. Compared to other markets, institutional participation in crypto remains constrained due to limitations like market infrastructure and regulatory certainty. This results in lower trading volumes, liquidity, and price transparency than more established markets like ICE’s Brent Crude futures contract, which has earned global trust in setting the world’s price of crude oil.”
Bakkt has hit a series of delays as it continues to work to gain approval from the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission.
The company has big ambitions and aims to offer regulated trading, clearing and custody, and a secured environment where consumers and institutions can seamlessly buy, sell, store and spend digital assets. It plans to support physically-backed futures for additional cryptocurrencies after getting off the ground with BTC.
In addition, Bakkt has partnered with Microsoft and Starbucks for what it calls “phase two” of its business model.
The company says it will utilize Microsoft’s cloud solutions to allow retail customers to purchase, hold and spend cryptocurrencies on a global network. The plan will also give Starbucks customers a way to convert crypto to US dollars to make purchases.
Phase two was reportedly set to launch this summer. However, Bakkt has not officially released an update on the partnerships since last year.