The leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services has announced the execution of the first block trade of Bakkt Bitcoin Futures submitted to ICE Futures U.S. earlier this month. The block trade was executed between Galaxy Digital and XBTO, and was cleared by ED&F Man.
Trabue Bland, President of ICE Futures U.S., commented: “Since launching last week, the Bakkt Bitcoin Futures have achieved several milestones, including first physical delivery of bitcoin against a futures contract, and now the first block trade. Each of these achievements, on top of tight bid/offer spreads and a growing base of participants and clearing firms, are contributing to the first end-to-end regulated futures contract from price discovery to custody and physical delivery.”
A block trade is a privately negotiated trade with a certain minimum size threshold, which is submitted to the Exchange and cleared through ICE Clear US.
“Galaxy Digital Trading views futures as a critical institutional market tool for managing risk. As the digital asset class continues to mature, we view the launch of Bakkt as a foundational piece of market infrastructure”, said Galaxy Digital, Michael Novogratz’s crypto fund founded in 2018. The firm has made 23 investments so far and led 6 of them. This year alone, Galaxy Digital has invested in Parsley Health, Fuel Games, BlockFi Lending, Clause, Spring Labs, Azarus, Digital Assets Data, Lucid Site, Cipher Trace, and Symbiont.
“Last week, we bought the first Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures contract and took the first physical delivery of a digital asset under existing commodity futures laws and regulations. This week, we executed the first block trade. We’re pleased to report that the launch was successful and can accommodate large trades”, stated XBTO, one of the world’s largest and most diversified participants in the cryptocurrency markets. The firm holds equity in Paradigm and Lukka.
Bakkt is ICE’s blockchain network and has concluded a nine-digit capital raise earlier this year, shaking $182.5 million out of a dozenbackers including Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft and Pantera Capital. It’s telling that ICE, which owns the New York Stock Exchange as well as an array of futures exchanges and clearinghouses, is concentrating so many resources in such a venture as Bakkt, and that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission seems to be on board.
The blockchain network signed its first acquisition agreement in 2019. Bakkt acquired a RCG’s asset in the latest push towards positioning itself towards more regulated markets. According to Bakkt CEO, the RCG’s system and expertise would improve the company’s risk management and treasury operations. It further helps the crypto firm to position themselves up to offer a broader range of crypto-based financial products.