Bakkt’s first Bitcoin future contract was signed on Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 at 8:02 p.m. ET. Ten hours later, only a volume equivalent to 28 bitcoins had been traded.
The offer of Bitcoin futures contracts that Bakkt had tried to introduce into the U.S. market for over a year is now available to investors. The first contract was traded on the night of September 22nd. However, after the first few hours, only a volume of futures worth 28 bitcoins had been traded.
The first exchange occurred at 8:02 p.m. ET at a price of USD 10,115, as Bakkt commented on Twitter. Seven hours later, a volume of 18 bitcoins had been traded, but in the following hours that figure rose close to 40%.
The futures exchange said that the data feed will be available for free until June 2010. However, the FAQ section informs that making a subscription will be necessary. At the time of writing this article, the graphs only show data on the price and trading volume.
Bitcoin futures supported by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of the New York Stock Exchange, had been postponed twice by regulators amid great expectations. Likewise, the products of other companies such as LedgerX have also been rejected or postponed several times.
The launch is expected to attract a significant number of investors, who could be encouraged by the possibility of trading cryptocurrencies on a platform endorsed by U.S. regulatory bodies. For that reason, many people in the ecosystem have expressed on Twitter their disappointment in the relative low demand occurred in the first trading hours.
Unlike the products traded in 2017 on the CME Group platform, these Bitcoin futures contracts will be physically settled, and so people will receive bitcoins at the end of the trade.
For and Against
The main reason why the trading volume seems insignificant right now could be the fact that Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures are not available to retailers, who represent most of the market.
Consequently, users might not see the realization of expectations about a higher volume of exchanges that could affect Bitcoin’s price, which has remained with slight fluctuations around USD 10,000 for two months.
Jhon Torado, director of research at TradeBlock, said that decent trading volumes might be seen of the product, conservatively anticipating the landscape. However, he would expect a demand somewhat in line with current contracts settled in cash, such as those offered by the CME.
Since May, the number of open positions had shown signs of growth, with at least 5,190 at the end of a trading day. On this point, the CEO of CME Group, Tim McCourt, commented through e-mail on August 23rd that the number of contracts per day in May had amounted to an average of 13,600, equivalent to USD 515 million or 68 thousand BTC.
McCourt explained that, on May 13th, a record volume of BTC was traded in a single day through 33,677 contracts (168 thousand bitcoins, equivalent to USD 1.3 billion notional).
While Bitcoin’s price fell below USD 10,000 over the weekend, Bakkt continued as planned, which many consider positive. However, in view of the platform’s trading volume, others ironically commented on a possible lack of interest on the part of investors.
By Willmen Blanco