Intercontinental Exchange Ltd (ICE), the firm behind the crypto startup, Bakkt, is considering acquiring a digital currency license from New York regulators to fast track the launch of the proposed Bitcoin Futures Platform.
Citing sources close to the matter, Bloomberg reported today that the delay behind the launch of the Bakkt exchange, which will offer physically-delivered bitcoin futures contracts is as a result of a glitch with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The CFTC does not approve of Bakkt serving as the trust or bank for clients’ Bitcoins that will be under its possession if the futures contract platform goes live. CFTC regulations require that clients or deposits are kept with a third party trust company or bank and not the clearinghouse which in this case is Bakkt.
If Bakkt wanted to fill in both roles, the Commission noted that startup might have to go through more stringent compliance measures than the normal process required to authorize a futures contract trading platform. This will undoubtedly require a longer duration before Bakkt acquires the needed regulatory approval.
Bakkt parent company, ICE hopes that letting the startup obtain a crypto license from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) will grant it the power to store/custody investors’ Bitcoins like other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Although Bakkt would still need the CFTC’s approval to extend such a state license to other U.S jurisdictions, acquiring it could hasten the process and push Bakkt closer to bringing its product to market.
Meanwhile Coinfomania last month reported the reason behind Bakkt’s delayed launch which was first postponed in November 2018. We cited the startup’s mini regulatory battle with the CFTC as the reason for the delay, but that has not stopped the startup from acquiring new assets in preparation for a full launch.