NYSE Owner Delays Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch to 2019

It looks like the crypto markets may not get a December boost from Wall Street after all.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on Tuesday announced that it would delay the launch of its much-anticipated bitcoin futures product until at least Jan. 24, 2019.

That product, the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract, had been scheduled to go live on ICE Futures US on Dec. 12, providing US investors with their first opportunity to trade a physically-settled crypto futures product on a respected, regulated mainstream exchange (The bitcoin futures on CME and CBOE are cash-settled, meaning that no bitcoins exchange hands when the contracts expire).

ICE claimed that the delay would afford the firm additional time to onboard customers before it begins warehousing BTC and opens the futures market.

From the announcement:

“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.”

Analysts had speculated that Bakkt’s scheduled December launch could help catalyze a year-end crypto market rally, with some bulls — most notably Fundstrat’s Tom Lee — predicting that the bitcoin price could ascend as far as $15,000 heading into the new year.

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