Bakkt announced today that it plans to launch its custody services and bitcoin futures products on September 23. In a blog post announcing the news, the company confirmed that the New York State Department of Financial Services has approved its New York trust charter, paving the way for Bakkt to launch its products.
According to Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler, the bitcoin futures offerings will include both daily and monthly futures contracts. Those contracts will be settled through Bakkt Warehouse, which will “custody bitcoin for physically delivered futures.” The company claims that it will provide users with “unprecedented regulatory clarity and security alongside a regulated, globally accessible exchange in a market underserved by institutional-grade infrastructure.”
Loeffler noted that the digital asset markets are currently well-developed on a global scale but are not yet structured to serve institutional investors due to concerns about regulation, market quality, lack of liquidity, reliability, and risk. She suggested that Bakkt intends to address those issues with its services:
“We’re starting with the introduction of a regulated and secure qualified custodian for bitcoin to support our futures contracts. The Bakkt Warehouse, which is part of Bakkt Trust Company, is built using the cyber and physical security protections that support the world’s most actively traded markets, including the NYSE. In addition, the independent governance and compliance requirements of a qualified custodian mean that the Bakkt Warehouse is designed to meet the highest standards of oversight.”
She also confirmed Bakkt’s intent to set a “higher standard” for the industry, with “an institutional compliance and anti-money laundering program, settlement prices that are distinct from unregulated spot prices, comprehensive market oversight, a guaranty fund contribution and insurance.”