The much-anticipated, fully-regulated Bitcoin exchange and custody offering from Bakkt looks on track to make good on its previously-announced launch date later this month. The company has just announced that its Warehouse custody solution is now open for customer deposits and withdrawals.The Bakkt platform seeks to make investing in Bitcoin more friendly to institutional investors and bring greater accountability to price discovery. Its high-profile backers and the fact that futures contracts will be settled with actual Bitcoin are behind the optimism many Bitcoin enthusiasts have about the new exchange platform.Bakkt Launches Warehouse Deposits and Withdrawals on TimeGiven the number of delays to its launch already, Bitcoiners hoping for a timely roll out of the Bakkt platform will be pleased to learn that the company has today started accepting deposits and withdrawals to its Warehouse custody solution. The firm made the announcement via Twitter earlier today:Today our Warehouse opens for customer bitcoin deposits and withdrawals as we prepare for the Bakkt Bitcoin Daily & Monthly Futures, launching September 23The availability of physical delivery brings more flexibility in managing bitcoin exposure— Bakkt (@Bakkt) September 6, 2019Bakkt had stated on August 28, that it would launch Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal support today. The move makes a timely launch of physically-settled Bitcoin futures on September 23 all the more likely.The platform has been the subject of much excitement in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry. Bakkt is the brainchild of the owners of the New York Stock Exchange, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). High profile companies like Microsoft and Starbucks have also expressed interest in it.Although futures contracts have been launched by big names previously, what makes Bakkt more interesting is the fact that its futures are settled with delivery of Bitcoin, not cash. This means that buyers will receive actual Bitcoin at the end of a contract rather than the fiat-equivalent value. If popular, this may have an impact on price.Bakkt was first announced in August 2018. It has been struggling for regulatory approval since but recently announced its launch date for later month.The Bakkt Warehouse, which started taking deposits today, is intended to provide institutional investors the kind of asset custody services that they are more familiar with. Being fully regulated and backed by such big names, some commentators believe it will bring a greater air of legitimacy to the often-stigmatised cryptocurrency industry.Being fully regulated in the US, Bakkt also believes its ICE-operated futures exchange will bring greater transparency and accountability to Bitcoin price discovery.In the Medium post last month detailing the launch date, Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, commented on how regulated price discovery might address some problems regulators have with the Bitcoin market:“The importance of this differentiator is only amplified by reports of significant manipulative spot market activity, and other concerns such as inconsistent anti-money-laundering policies and weak compliance controls.” Related Reading: Bitcoin Near $11k to Close First Positive Week in a MonthFeatured Image from Shutterstock.
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