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Bakkt Goes Live With Options, Cash-Settled Futures Products

Nikhilesh De
Coindesk

Barely three months after launching its long-anticipated physically settled bitcoin futures product, the Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt has gone live with its bitcoin options and cash-settled futures contracts.

The New York Stock Exchange’s sister firm announced in a blog post Monday that it’s using its physically settled bitcoin contracts as a benchmark to support the new products, which were both announced in recent weeks. 

The blog post compared Intercontinental Exchange’s bitcoin ambitions to those of its Brent Crude Oil Futures. The company launched a number of swaps, options and futures contracts based on the crude oil product, and hopes to follow “a similar playbook” to grow its bitcoin-related products.

Related: Crypto Exchange OKEx Launching Options Trading Later This Month

“By starting with the physically delivered Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Futures, we have a benchmark contract which provides the foundation for us to develop complementary products based on the needs of our customers,” the blog post said. 

While Bakkt’s physical futures contract saw a slow start after it was launched in late September, volume has recently picked up, with the monthly futures product trading more than $120 million three months in.

Bakkt’s options contract comes just a month before CME, which already offers cash-settled bitcoin futures in the U.S., launches its own similar product. However, while Bakkt’s pricing will be based around its existing physical product, CME’s is dependent on its bitcoin index. 

Malta-based OKEx also announced Monday that it would offer options trading later this month.

Related: Bitcoin Charts First Weekly Golden Cross in 3.5 Years

Bakkt’s monthly options contract has no exposure to spot markets, the firm said.

The cash futures, offered through ICE Futures Singapore, seemingly takes aim at potential demand in Asian markets, though any ICE customer can trade the contract.

The blog post also included a signup link for individuals interested in being updated on Bakkt’s consumer app, with the link itself asking those signing up to specify whether they are a consumer or a merchant. 

Bakkt announced the app in October, saying it would help consumers pay for goods using bitcoin. Starbucks will be a launch partner when the app goes live sometime next year.

“At Bakkt, our mission is to bring trust and utility to digital assets,” the blog post says. “These new contracts represent an important milestone in the development of this emerging asset class and our bitcoin product complex.”

Bakkt’s new launches come days after CEO Kelly Loeffler was named as Georgia’s next Senator by state Governor Brian Kemp. An ICE statement shared last Wednesday indicated that Loeffler would have to step down from her current role before she is sworn in on Jan. 1.

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