Bakkt, an upcoming crypto retail payment system and futures platform, is delaying its launch to better ensure the platform’s success at release.
On November 20, 2018, the CEO of Bakkt released an update on Medium, outlining the future business plans for the company, describing some of the progress in implementing new features and declaring that the company’s initial launch is being postponed until January 24, 2019. According to CEO Kelly Loeffler, the delay is meant to give the project more time to make sure that the platform is operationally sound at launch.
“Given the volume of interest in Bakkt and work required to get all of the pieces in place, we will now be targeting January 24, 2019 for our launch to ensure that our participants are ready to trade on Day 1. As is often true with product launches, there are new processes, risks and mitigants to test and re-test, and in the case of crypto, a new asset class to which these resources are being applied. So it makes sense to adjust our timeline as we work with the industry toward launch,” the post reads.
The post also indicates that the team is still working “with customer onboarding and securing regulatory approvals,” as the futures trading platform is still “subject to regulatory approval” by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) before the contracts can launch.
First announced at the beginning of August, the Bakkt platform has been awaited in the space for several months, as it promises a platform that would allow retailers at many different levels to leverage its services to accept crypto as payment.
Bakkt is not intended only for these day-to-day transactions, however. As detailed in an earlier announcement that originally anticipated Bakkt's release in December of 2018, the platform also offers contracts for bitcoin futures trading. This was particularly noteworthy because Bakkt took the unusual step of deciding not to perform these trades with fiat, opting instead to build “a physically settled daily futures contract for bitcoin.”
This most recent announcement also contained more news than a delay notice. Loeffler said that the company is exploring ways “to expand [its] offering,” adding that Bakkt will offer “insurance for bitcoin in cold storage” and that the team is “in the process of securing insurance for the warm wallet within the Bakkt Warehouse architecture,” as well.