Bitcoin Approaches Second Inning as Bakkt Exchange Launch Nears

Bakkt has been trumpeted as a future main driver of crypto institutional adoption and even the bull market. The bitcoin futures exchange boasts everything Wall Street firms are looking for – the promise of uncorrelated returns to the stock market plus the confidence of regulatory oversight. But in case you haven't noticed, Bakkt hasn't launched yet. This is about to change, increasing the chances that the 2019 bitcoin bull run has just gotten started.

The Bakkt launch has taken longer than many in the crypto community expected, but the wheels are in motion. On July 22, "user acceptance testing (UAT) is scheduled to begin," according to the exchange. Meanwhile, a Fundstrat research report reveals,

"Bakkt's launch is expected late in the current quarter."

And this could very well be when the sidelined capital finally makes its way into the market. Fundstrat Quant Strategist Sam Doctor tweeted:

"Bakkt could be a huge catalyst for institutional participation in the crypto market."

Bakkt hosted an institutional summit this week at the NYSE, whose parent company ICE is behind the bitcoin futures exchange. Based on the anecdotes from that event, things are looking quite bullish for bitcoin in the latter part of this year. According to the Fundstrat note, there was a robust turnout at the conference of more than 150 investors.

Bakkt Event Displays Rising Interest in Bitcoin Futures

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is critical in the launch of Bakkt's bitcoin futures contracts, also had representation. Fundstrat's report indicates that "the CFTC is seeing growing demand and interest for bitcoin futures from the public." The unveiling of bitcoin futures contracts by the CME and Cboe was largely considered to mark the beginning of the crypto bull market of 2017. Soon it will be clear whether history will have a way of repeating itself.

Ari Paul, BlockTowerCapital CIO, also participated in the Bakkt event, and he appears to be bracing for a wave of users into the space. Fundstrat's report indicates Paul "believes that retail adoption will be enormous once a killer app/UI makes crypto on-ramps safe, reliable, and as easy to use as PayPal."

If you follow the signs, there is a great deal of pent-up demand for "physically settled daily and monthly futures contracts." Now that there is greater clarity on the timing of the Bakkt launch, bitcoin could finally be headed to the second inning.

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About the author

Gerelyn Terzo
Gerelyn Terzo

Gerelyn is Assistant Editor at CCN. Based in the U.S., she has also covered institutional investing on Wall Street but caught the bitcoin bug soon after. She resides 13 miles outside of New York, close enough but also far enough away to escape it all. Follower her on Twitter (@cryptogerelyn) or email [email protected]

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