It has now been a week since Bakkt, under the Intercontinental Exchange, has launched. The initial opening started pretty slowly, but only relative to the massive expectation from this much-anticipated launch.
As the first day drew to a close 71 BTC was traded, which again was not an astronomical figure, but one that spoke of gradual progress. Now, it has been confirmed that some 623 monthly bitcoin futures contracts changed hands last week for a total of around $5 million.
It is hard to judge this figure in isolation, as $5 million traded for a niche commodity on a new platform with a new way of doing things – though physically traded BTC futures – seems like a decent haul. However, the expectation is astronomical for Bakkt, and that has its own pressures.
To put this figure into context, some 4,099 Bitcoin futures contracts traded last Friday alone at rival exchange operator CME. CME has been hit with a huge influx of demand, and its futures contracts represent five Bitcoins, for a trading volume of $165 million on a single day.
Still, there are signs that the Bakkt contracts will grow and steadily improve, and they are also being given many stamps of approval from a few key cryptocurrency commentators. The likes of Tom Lee, and John McAfee have spoken about how vital this offering is for getting new, institutional, money into the market.
Even with all the excitement and the hype around Bakkt, the slow launch was anticipated and has not been much cause for concern. However, the actual launch of the futures contract from Bakkt has caught the blame for the recent drop in the price of the cryptocurrency market.
Dave Weisberger, CEO of CoinRoutes, told Coindesk that Bitcoin investors currently in the market already have plenty of places to buy and sell, but it’s too early to write off Bakkt’s new push.
“It takes time for people to move from one place to another unless there’s a cost reason or a liquidity reason,” Weisberger said, adding: “These things tend to develop slowly.”
The first week may have been underwhelming due to the high standards set, but it must be remembered that this is a long term approach by Bakkt, and even CME took a long time before it got Volume that it could be proud of.