U.S. Government Reopens for Three Weeks. Is There a Turnaround in Sight for Bakkt?

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By Maud Guon Jan 28, 2019
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As the crypto bear market is still far from over, the market seems to be betting on Bitcoin Futures.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced a deal on January 25 to reopen the federal government for three weeks after the longest-ever shutdown.

The launch of Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures was delayed due to the 35-day government shutdown. As the U.S. government has temporarily reopened for three weeks, some people argue that the digital asset platform may see a turnaround and get a green light from the CFTC for its physically settled Bitcoin futures soon.

Bakkt serves as a crypto trading platform backed by NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

How U.S. Government Shutdown Affect the Crypto Land

A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) backed by VanEck and SolidX was withdrew by the CBOE BZX Exchange on January 23, 2019.  

During a recent interview with CNBC, Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck, said “the SEC is affected by the shutdown… we were engaged in discussions with the SEC about the Bitcoin-related issues, custody, market manipulation, prices, and that had to stop. And so, instead of trying to slip through or something, we just had the application pulled and we will re-file and re-engage in the discussions when the SEC gets going again.”

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Indeed, the government shutdown could be a drag on the launch of Bitcoin ETFs, but a delay is much better than a rejection. The SEC had already postponed a decision on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF application twice and rejected nine similar applications before that. It’s wise for VanEck to withdraw its application and re-file it when the time is right.

Bakkt, however, is rather proactive in launching its Bitcoin futures. The ICE released more details about the Bakkt product on its official website January 24.

“ICE Futures U.S. offers physically delivered daily futures contracts on Bitcoin traded in BTC/USD (subject to regulatory approval). These contracts will be traded on ICE’s electronic trading platform, which offers industry-leading speed and reliability, regulated by the CFTC.”

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Nonetheless, Bakkt may not get an approval from the CFTC that soon, as the U.S. watchdog may not give priority to Bakkt’s application within a limited three-week period.

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