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August 03, 2018 @ 20:35 +03:00
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has announced that will list a physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts and form a new company whose mission is to make bitcoin a mainstream financial asset. ICE made the groundbreaking announcement on Friday, revealing that the new platform — Bakkt — has been developed in partnership with a variety of blockbuster names, including Microsoft, Starbucks, and BCG.
Bakkt will integrate with the ICE’s U.S. futures market and clearinghouse to list a physically-settled one-day bitcoin futures product, complete with physical warehousing managed in-house by ICE. This product will launch in November, pending regulatory approval. Because ICE — one of the biggest names in finance — will serve as custodian for all assets stored on the Bakkt platform, institutional investors such as pensions, endowments, and insurance companies may be less hesitant to take a bet on this burgeoning asset class. As CCN reported, analysts and others with knowledge of the institutional investing landscape had consistently fingered a lack of a respected, regulated custodian as the primary reason that institutions were staying away from bitcoin.
But while ICE believes it can be the one to take bitcoin mainstream, it also says that that reality likely will not resemble the crypto-anarchist vision harbored by many early cryptocurrency adopters. “Bitcoin can’t survive as a rogue idea,” Sprecher said in the Fortune profile. “To evolve, the cryptocurrencies need to run on established infrastructure. They need the trust and rules that have been built into our financial system for many years. They need the kind of trust that the Big Board represents.” The bitcoin price saw moderate bump in the hours following the announcement, rising as high as $7,503 on Bitfinex after dipping as far as $7,282 earlier in the day.