- Intercontinental Exchange — the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange — will offer futures contracts paid out in bitcoin starting September 23.
- The New York Financial Services Department approved a charter on Friday for ICE’s Bakkt business to hold investors’ digital tokens. Bakkt will offer same-day and one-month futures that pay in bitcoin instead of US dollars.
- The announcement pushes the world’s largest cryptocurrency further into Wall Street investing.
- Watch bitcoin trade live here.
ICE announced Friday it won the charter from the New York State Financial Services Department to hold investors’ digital coins. The company’s Bakkt business will offer the contracts and hold the cryptocurrency. The futures contracts were already certified by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The announcement further pushes the largest cryptocurrency into the world of institutional investing, as its wide price swings and lack of major government regulation kept the coin from gaining much interest from Wall Street.
"While much has been said about deficiencies in crypto markets, the advances being made in the digital asset ecosystem are significant in terms of participants, platforms and applications," Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said in a press release. "Not to mention the rapid pace of development that continues through bear and bull markets."
Bakkt, a subsidy of ICE, focuses on digital assets, and the newly-approved Bakkt Trust Company is qualified to hold custody of traders’ bitcoin tokens. Founded in August 2018, the company has partnerships with Starbucks and Microsoft, and will offer both same-day futures and monthly contracts that pay out in bitcoin instead of US dollars.
ICE previously said its long-term goal is to utilize cryptocurrencies for daily payments, as well as institutional investment through endowments, pensions and other funds.
Bitcoin is up about 190% versus the US dollar year-to-date. It’s served as a safe haven of sorts as investors flee stocks amid recession fears, since it’s not as tied to geopolitical uncertainty.
The asset recent gained new international legitimacy after New Zealand announced it would allow salaries paid in bitcoin starting September 1.
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