The US company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced on August 3 that it was building a platform for digital assets. The company, which also owns the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is also considering the launch of Bitcoin futures. In contrast to CME and CBOE products, this product should allow actual payouts in bitcoin.
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) operates a total of 23 exchanges around the world. The best-known of these is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which is based on the infamous Wall Street in Manhattan. As the company has now announced in a press release, a new platform for trading digital assets is to be added soon.
Bakkt: A regulated ecosystem for the bitcoin trade
The Bakkt platform is to develop an “open and regulated global ecosystem for digital assets” on the basis of Microsoft Cloud Solutions. Bakkt works together with a group of companies, including Microsoft, the Boston Consulting Group and Starbucks. It should be possible to buy, sell, store and distribute digital assets via the platform. The first one is Bitcoin, currently the most liquid crypto currency and also the base currency for all brokers, shops and exchanges. You can find a list of bitcoin brokers on this website.
With the launch of Bakkt, the main aim is to facilitate access to crypto currencies for banks and institutional investors. At present, these potential investors in particular lack the necessary confidence in the crypto-ecosystem. This is now to be achieved through a regulated environment which the ICE wants to provide with Bakkt. By breaking down barriers to entry, the big money is paved the way into the crypto market.
The Starbucks coffee chain plays an important role in the project. It is planned that the roasting company will enable its customers all over the world to pay for their coffee at least indirectly with Bitcoin. For this purpose, the Bitcoin should be able to be converted directly into the respective Fiat currency via an app, with which the customer can pay for the product.
Bitcoin futures as icing on the cake?
Bitcoin futures are also under discussion. Unlike the financial products of the Chicago CME and CBOE exchanges, which pay out their customers in Fiat, bitcoin is actually to be acquired and retained here. However, the planned futures would still have to obtain approval from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). For the ICE, we can only hope that the CFTC will be more cooperative than the SEC had last done. They rejected the introduction of a Bitcoin ETF last month – already for the third time.