Hyped Cryptocurrency Exchange; Bakkt Goes Live, Gets Low Reception

The Bakkt exchange finally opened its doors, after thirteen months of built up anticipation, but there was no avalanche of institutional orders, no fanfare.

Hyped Cryptocurrency Exchange; Bakkt Goes Live, Gets Low Reception
Hyped Cryptocurrency Exchange; Bakkt Goes Live, Gets Low Reception

The Bakkt exchange finally opened its doors, after thirteen months of built up anticipation, but there was no avalanche of institutional orders, no fanfare, only a plethora of articles in the press asking where was everyone hiding? The first transaction was for one BTC, pegging the price at $10,115. Another 17 BTC of orders soon entered from stage left, but the trickling stream was near silent, a surprise and disappointment to many of the Bitcoin hopeful. Within a few hours, $290,000 had traded on the exchange.

Many analysts had predicted a slow start, and slow it was. The market was also unsure, as well, as to how it should react to the news. There was no large “sell-on-the-news” response, as some people warned, nor was there a concerted attack by a shorting crew bent on destruction. All orders were basically at or above market prices, but BTC had already begun a slow descent some four days back, cresting at roughly $10,250 and falling gradually, posting a $9,850 value after the launch.

One observer that had predicted correctly what would transpire on “Day One” was John Todaro, director of research at TradeBlock, a provider of institutional trading tools. He told a reporter from Coindesk that:

It is unlikely that there will be an immediate surge in demand. Institutional adoption won’t occur with a single catalyst. It will take time for these entities to become comfortable with the asset class, identify strategies that are best used to trade the space, understand crypto market liquidity, and also understand the different regulatory and tax obligations across jurisdictions they operate in.

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler took the modest opening in stride and stressed to reporters with Cointelegraph that Bakkt was important for the industry in several ways. It was of course the first appearance of physically settled futures contracts in the United States. A reliable and regulated infrastructure will “accelerate the adoption of digital assets”, and the industry will benefit from the primary mission of Bakkt, which is “expanding access to the global economy by building trust in and unlocking the value of digital assets.”