Institutional cryptocurrency platform Bakkt will begin testing its first product, physically-delivered bitcoin (BTC) futures on July 22, the company announced in a blog post on June 13. Bakkt, which has seen multiple delays over regulatory compliance since its original announcement in August 2018, will offer futures as the first in a series of offerings, full details of which remain unclear.
Backed by ICE, the parent company behind NYSE, Bakkt is considered a bellwether institutional crypto play that offers institutional grade trading services for physical Bitcoin futures. After having had a quiet 2018 in terms of trading volume, regulated Bitcoin futures products offered by leading exchanges are seeing a significant uptick in trading volumes, with CME having posted a record monthly Bitcoin futures daily trading volume last month at $515 million traded, in notional dollar values. CME also stated that the bitcoin product added 223 new trading accounts in May, the most it has seen since January 2018. This metric is a clear indication that institutional interest has indeed picked up.
With Bakkt’s launch, more and more institutional investors are expected to start trading Bitcoin futures. This could further push the envelope for mainstream institutional adoption.