Bakkt has been “cleared to launch.”
The Intercontinental Exchange’s young subsidiary announced Friday that it had acquired a New York state trust charter through the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The approval clears the way for the company to begin offering its highly-anticipated physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts. The company intends to launch its products on Sept. 23.
Bakkt, first unveiled last August, has been working on regulatory approvals to begin offering the product over the past year. It intends to offer two types of contracts: a daily and a monthly contract. Both will be settled at the Bakkt Warehouse, a part of its New York-chartered trust company.
In a blog post Friday, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loefler wrote, “Our contracts have already received the green light from the CFTC through the self-certification process and user acceptance testing has begun.”
Ms. Loefler also stated, “Uniquely, Bakkt bitcoin futures contracts will not rely upon unregulated spot markets for settlement prices, thus serving as a transparent price discovery mechanism for the benchmark price for bitcoin. The importance of this differentiator is only amplified by reports of significant manipulative spot market activity, and other concerns such as inconsistent anti-money-laundering policies and weak compliance controls.”
The core service Bakkt will offer is “secure regulated custody,” alongside its institutional-scale trading, she said. Bakkt itself is not an exchange, but rather will take advantage of its parent firm’s existing infrastructure.