Bakkt COO Adam White announced in a blog post today that the company will begin user acceptance testing for its anticipated Bitcoin futures on July 22, 2019. The platform’s futures product is expected to be followed by other cryptocurrency offerings in the future.
White reminded his readers that Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher had referred to ICE’s investment in the project as “a bit of a moonshot bet” but noted that Bakkt intends to provide a “down to earth” solution for developing institutional and consumer trust in digital assets. However, he suggested that the “moonshot” analogy was appropriate, especially in the need for extensive testing prior to launch:
Still, bitcoin price discovery, like a moonshot, requires diligent testing before launch. 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.
The Bakkt team hopes to establish that same type of global trust for cryptocurrency assets, through the development of a secure infrastructure for trading digital currencies and a new approach to overcoming industry challenges in the areas of liquidity, regulation, unreliable trading platforms, price discovery, and market manipulation.