The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which owns the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), launched its own bitcoin futures contracts for the first time on Sunday.

Futures Contracts Are All the Rage

The idea regarding futures contracts and trading physical bitcoins has been intriguing to most, with other companies like Chicago’s CME recently saying it will also launch bitcoin futures starting in early 2020. What’s special about ICE’s bitcoin futures is that this potentially marks the first move of Bakkt, a trading platform designed to allow institutional traders access to cryptocurrencies. In addition, it’s also built for retailers who are interested in accepting cryptocurrencies as means of payment.

The news was first initiated in a tweet on Sunday night, when bitcoin was trading for just over $10,100. At press time, the price of the asset has fallen somewhat to around $9,900.

All users settling contracts will receive bitcoin units upon doing so. ICE contracts are also federally regulated. Many enthusiasts are hopeful that bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry can begin taking valid steps towards legitimacy through moves like this.

Marking the start of Bakkt is interesting in that bitcoin has fallen in price over the past 48 hours. It’s been suggested by many analysts and experts that enterprises like Bakkt would potentially cause spikes in the bitcoin price, and while it’s still too early to tell, the latest signs of bitcoin’s price maneuvers don’t look good.

Perhaps the problem is that Bakkt, for the most part, is old news. First introduced in late 2018, the platform has been meandering its way through crypto news sites for roughly one year and has encountered delay after delay. Much like the many bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that have been submitted, the enterprise has failed to come to fruition within a set period, so while many still anticipate the release of said products, others have lost interest and moved on.

 There’s Still Time to Do Good Things

This is a shame when one considers just how revolutionary these ventures are for crypto. The idea that institutional traders – individuals and corporations that many believe would legitimize the crypto space – are finally getting full, regulated access to digital currencies and that more businesses are allowing their use as forms of payment is very big, so if this is all we have to look forward to regarding the bitcoin price – a couple of small rises here and there followed by almost instant drops – that’s disappointing to say the least.

At press time, Bakkt lists companies like Starbucks and Microsoft as investing enterprises. The big claim to fame of futures contracts involving bitcoin is that there are agreements in place to sell these contracts at set prices, meaning that despite the coin’s volatility, sellers and traders can agree on specific terms beforehand and potentially avoid price swings.

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