In the hours leading up to press time, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) backed startup, Bakkt finally went live with its long-awaited institutional-grade bitcoin futures products.
The platform which was first announced in August 2018, has thus become the first U.S regulators’ approved venue for trading bitcoin futures that are delivered in physical bitcoin, instead of its cash equivalent offered by existing venues like CME Group.
Bakkt Bitcoin Futures are now actively trading on ICE Futures U.S., while the Bakkt Warehouse continues to onboard bitcoin
We take our customers’ trust seriously, and are excited to serve this market
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) September 23, 2019
Interestingly, while many Bitcoin holders expected the launch of Bakkt to bring instant benefits such as a notable price increase, the launch has had little to no effect on the market as a period of bearish movements, and low volatility continues to plague the market.
Bitcoin (BTC) Performance ~ Bearish
Rather than shoot-up as many had expected, the price of Bitcoin has dropped slightly following Bakkt’s launch. The leading cryptocurrency had at press time slipped back below $10,000 even though the first Bakkt Bitcoin Futures trade was reportedly executed at $10,115, approximately five hours earlier.
Why Has The Price of Bitcoin Not Spiked?
While traders called for a price increase to follow the Bakkt news, it is worth remembering that Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of the parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) reported earlier this year that they capitalized on the 2018 bear market to buy Bitcoin cheap and also acquire startups they need to boost their chances of launching this year.
Given that confirmation, it may be safe to assume that Bakkt is no longer buying Bitcoin for its institutional clients, the perfect situation that would have created more demand and an increase in price.
However, the platform’s launch as we explained in an earlier article signifies the birth of the first U.S regulated trading venue for institutional investors to get exposure to physically-delivered bitcoin futures contracts, and can possibly create a base market to reduce volatility in spot prices.
With that in mind, Bakkt’s launch would influence Bitcoin’s value in the long run, with the platform likely going to need significant time to onboard enough institutional clients, and increase the volume of bitcoins traded on it daily.
In the interim though, traders continue to increase the call for the price of bitcoin to enter another period of high volatility following a 16-day movement that has seen it trade between the $10,400-$9,800 range.
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