US-based Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a company that 12 regulated exchanges and marketplaces, has been in the works of opening up a cryptocurrency exchange that should usher in institutional investment. After months of waiting, it seems that their Bakkt crypto platform will begin trading Bitcoin futures contracts on December 12, 2018.
Bakkt is currently in discussion with Tier 1 investment banks to utilize their exchange architecture. This is no surprise given the support and backing it has already seen from major financial firms such as Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, and Pantera Capital, plus a slew more, that want to see this project get off the ground. The crypto firm has also partnered with coffee giant, Starbucks, to process payments through Bitcoin on the company’s mobile app, which is largest mobile app payment system in the United States, touting 23.4 million users.
The goal of the new crypto exchanges launch is to provide a seamless trading environment for consumers and institutions in a cryptocurrency ecosystem. Users can trade, store, and spend cryptocurrency on the platform securely and efficiently, as the company aim to utilize the current infrastructure by connecting it to a blockchain.
Bakkt’s parent company ICE, is in the process of receiving approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Once approved ICE plans to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical storage on December 12, 2018 through their futures exchange and clearinghouse. Also in the works are new guidelines covering cryptocurrency protocols and settlement requirements, as well as a guarantee fund provided separately by Bakkt.
Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, spoke about the Bakkt organization:
“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets.”