At 800pm EST, Bitcoin Options trading began on Bakkt. The option contracts are designed to let investors hedge Bitcoin exposure providing the right to buy or sell a specific amount of Bitcoin within a predetermined period, settling into the Bakkt’s monthly futures. This is technically the first regulated and compliant Bitcoin options market in the world. Backed by Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE), the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, Bakkt (pun intended), has seen tremendous growth since the launch of their futures platform earlier this year, with daily volumes and open interest consistently breaking records.
Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, who was just appointed to the United States Senate a few days ago, explained that this product is being introduced due to customer feedback. She stated, “it is designed to hedge or gain bitcoin exposure, generate income, and offer cost and capital efficiencies.” As for regulatory approval, ICE was able to use the self-certification filing procedure of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to get the new product approved.
Earlier this year, the CME Group announced that they would be launching Bitcoin options in the first quarter of 2020. With several regulated institutions coming to the table to offer proper hedging tools, this will only help attract more institutions into the digital asset space.
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