Yesterday, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced the launch date of the platform for cryptocurrency trading Bakkt. The launch will take place on 12 December 2018; at the same time the venue will open trades futures contracts on bitcoin. Currently, the exchange is awaiting the approval of the Commission on trade commodity futures U.S. (CFTC).
Bitcoin futures will be the first product ICE cryptocurrency related. BTC, providing the futures, will be placed in a special “vault” for digital assets, Digital Asset ICE Warehouse. Clearing contracts will be engaged in other subsidiary of ICE, ICE Clear US. This company formally belongs to the new York stock exchange (NYSE).
When purchasing a futures contract for bitcoin Bakkt sends to the customer’s account one bitcoin as a means of physical settlement:
“Each futures contract provides for the obligations on payment of one BTC from the stock ICE Digital Asset Warehouse and will be traded in dollars. Every day, within normal business hours of the exchange, the auction will be charged a single contract”, — stated in the announcement of the ICE.
The settlement mechanism different from Bakkt solutions for bitcoin futures, CME and CBOE, which reinforces this type of products with Fiat currency. This decision provoked criticism Bakkt and charges of “hidden leverage”; the representatives of the company responded to these statements:
“The key element of valuation is a physical settlement. In particular, in the case of our decisions, buying and selling bitcoins is fully secured or pre-funded. Thus, our bitcoin futures will not be traded at a premium, use leverage, or [later] be used as a paper claim on a real asset.”
For the first time, ICE announced the opening of trading bitcoin with futures and the basis Bakkt in August of this year. It was expected that the platform will start working in November; the ICE did not give specific reasons for the transfer date.