ICE announces no Bitcoin Futures this year – could this mean no Santa Claus rally?

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will not be listing the new Bakkt Bitcoin Futures this year. Instead, the launch has been postponed until at earliest late January next year.

According to an announcement from NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the product – dubbed Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract – is now expected to be listed for trading on 24th of January 2019, rather than the initial date of 12th of December next month:

“ICE Futures U.S., Inc. will list the new Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract for trading on trade date Thursday, January 24, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. The new listing timeframe will provide additional time for customer and clearing member onboarding prior to the start of trading and warehousing of the new contract.”

The Bakkt product is designed to provide investors with the opportunity to trade a physically-settled cryptocurrency contract or futures product on a regulated exchange. As ICE explains in detail:

“ICE Futures U.S. offers physically delivered daily futures contracts on Bitcoin traded in BTC/USD (subject to regulatory approval). These contracts will be traded on ICE’s electronic trading platform, which offers industry-leading speed and reliability, regulated by the CFTC. All trades are cleared and guaranteed by ICE Clearing US, the central counterparty for all ICE cleared forex futures trades. Trades will result in physically delivered Bitcoin in the regulated Bakkt Warehouse. Market participants are eligible to transact with any other market participants. ICE physically delivered bitcoin futures offer trading and hedging opportunities.”

The launch of the product is hoping to send prices of the market upwards and analysts have been predicting that the launch of the product in December could helped see to a “Santa Claus” rally. With this delay, however, Christmas might have to come a little later than anticipated.

Although a delay might be a bad thing in the short-term, it might be beneficial in the long-term and could ultimately cultivate a healthy, sustainable crypto-ecosystem.

Author: Rebecca Leighton
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