Bakkt, the physically-backed Bitcoin futures platform operated by the firm behind the New York Stock exchange, finally went live on Sunday night after over a year of hype and delays, but the launch of the platform failed to spark the cryptocurrency markets into life. The Bitcoin price saw a small spike up to $10,075 in the hours leading up to the opening, but soon dropped back down to remain coiled with the ever-compressing wedge that has been forming ever since the local highs of $13,800 back in July.
The first Bakkt Bitcoin Futures trade was executed at 8:02pm ET at a price of $10,115
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) September 23, 2019
Midnight Opening Doesn’t Bewitch Investors
Bakkt’s midnight launch was greeted with about as much enthusiasm as would be expected from a midnight launch of anything that isn’t a new iPhone or Harry Potter book, with the number traded barely reaching over double figures, which was enough for some to point a mocking finger:
3 total bitcoin have been traded on Bakkt so far ?
This violatility and price explosion is unbelievable ?
— Moon Overlord (@MoonOverlord) September 23, 2019
— Bitcoin, Gold, Silver & Geopolitics (@Super_Crypto) September 23, 2019
However, some were able to overlook the initial trading and see the bigger picture:
Bakkt isn’t showing a whole lot of bitcoin volume on its first day of trading, no fireworks as many expected.
But, Bakkt actually launching before the year’s end sets a good precedent entering 2020. As brokers get ready, it will likely see more volume. pic.twitter.com/jRoZJRwVXh
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) September 23, 2019
The Changing Face of Bakkt
The road for Bakkt has been a long and bumpy one. The first rumblings were heard in August 2018 when The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, announced that they were looking to find a way to bring Bitcoin trading to the institutions of Wall St., although the initial conception is, for now, different from what has just been launched. The initial suggestion was that Bakkt would be a platform where BTC could be bought, held, sold, and spent, with the presence of Starbucks as one of the backers creating an immediate buzz about the possibility that they would soon start accepting the cryptocurrency. This turned out to be, for the time being at least, something of a fantasy, and the product was reshaped throughout 2018 as delays took hold thanks to regulatory hurdles and government shutdowns. The product now is a combination of ultra-secure custodianship of BTC and a futures platform that pays out in BTC, quite separate from the earlier visions.
Don’t Judge Bakkt Yet
Bakkt’s opening bell may not have had the instant impact that some were seemingly expecting, but the fact that there now exists a fully regulated and trusted way in which institutions can get involved in Bitcoin is simply huge for the space. The platform will take time to adjust and adapt, and, barring a few brave souls who jumped straight in, most who are considering signing up will likely see how it performs throughout 2019 before making any definitive moves. Slow growth over the following months is what is expected here, and is what would be healthy for the platform. Where Bakkt is in a year’s time is more important than where it is in less than 24 hours.