Don’t get used to Bitcoin at the $10,000 level for too long. It is on a 200% growth journey in 2019, boosted by a bull run and based on the assumption that future money is digital.
Nonetheless, many dispute that notion and label the leading crypto as a fad, a money-laundering tool, or a bubble about to burst.
Now, bank-rolled by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, but also Starbucks and Microsoft, Bakkt’s long-delayed Bitcoin futures platform is scheduled to begin testing today.
This shot of legitimacy, by itself, could mean a Bitcoin at much higher prices.
Bakkt, the trading platform, is aimed squarely at institutions and expected to be a game-changer and a major catalyst for the bitcoin price.
According to Fundstrat, “There appears to be a critical mass of adopters ready to come on board on Day 1 of the Bakkt launch… The launch could be a huge accelerator for market growth.”
The Bakkt futures contracts are physically settled in bitcoin. Investors receive a real allocation of BTC at the end of the contract period. In contrast, CME bitcoin futures simply track the spot price and settle in cash.
The Bakkt exchange will offer 1-day futures, physically backed by Bitcoin which will be delivered the next day to the contract buyer. Bakkt's trading is fully collateralized, which means that their contract won’t be able to be traded on margin, leverage or otherwise. This, Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt says, will differentiate Bakkt from other exchanges and futures.
Bakkt wanted to launch Bitcoin Futures in late 2018, but that deadline didn’t hold its promise and was delayed. Now we see Bakkt setting out testing dates which could indicate that the company has finally complied with the necessary rules and regulations and cleared all the concerns of the SEC.
“It’s obvious that after a successful test the “real deal” could come,” said CoinSpeaker.
The bitcoin price, up some 200% so far this year, has somewhat recovered after a terrible 2018 largely due to interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from social media giant Facebook which unveiled its Libra cryptocurrency scheduled for release in 2020.
Now, forensic accountancy firm BTVK has warned the bitcoin and crypto "wild west" could be coming to an end, with global regulators closing in on bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges as a result of the spotlight brought by Facebook’s libra project.
Bitcoin has been under constant scrutiny from US president Donald Trump as he recently took to Twitter to declare himself “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies, “whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”
US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin first criticized the use of crypto assets in financing illicit activities on July 15. He stated that with the establishment of the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s Working Group on Digital Assets, regulators will work at full capacity to combat risks posed by the emerging asset class.
His comments helped lower Bitcoin prices by 8% that day.
In a regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) encouraged every member firm engaging in activities related to crypto assets to notify the organization.