The Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt bitcoin futures trading officially launched on Sunday, with the first physically-deliverable bitcoin futures trade executed at a price of $10,115, according to a tweet from Bakkt. According to reports, trading was relatively slow, with only five contracts traded in the first hour and a little more than two-dozen completed within the next ten hours.
Some analysts have already drawn comparisons between Bakkt’s tepid launch and the more robust trading seen in the wake of CME’s bitcoin futures launch in 2017. CME futures trading totaled $460 million in the first week, while Bakkt trading has thus far amounted to only several hundred thousand dollars. However, others have observed that regulated futures contracts often experience slow initial adoption.
As CNBC notes, Bakkt has been an eagerly anticipated addition to the cryptocurrency sector:
Cryptocurrency fans will hope ICE’s bitcoin futures, which are federally regulated, can provide some much-needed legitimacy to an asset class that has been mired in controversy following illicit activity in the still nascent industry.
Unlike CME’s bitcoin futures, which deliver cash payments on the contracts, Bakkt bitcoin futures contracts are physically deliverable with all settlements paid in bitcoin.