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ICE mulls seeking BitLicense amid regulatory resistance from CFTC for Bakkt: Report

Fri, 19 Apr 2019, 06:33 am UTC

NYSE operator Intercontinental exchange is considering seeking BitLicense from New York regulators, Bloomberg reported April 18.

In August 2018, ICE announced Bakkt with the objective of creating an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets. An initial component of the Bakkt offering is the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract – a physically-settled daily futures contract for bitcoin held in Bakkt Warehouse, and cleared by ICE Clear US, Inc. Its launch is subject to regulatory approvals.

Recently, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said that worked closely with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to obtain regulatory approval, but refrained from providing a specific date.

Sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg that the CFTC is particularly concerned over the storage of clients’ tokens and how it will be protected from possible theft and manipulation.

As such, ICE is mulling to obtain a crypto license from New York financial regulators that would allow Bakkt to hold custody of customers’ tokens. However, it would still need to obtain the approval from the CFTC on the broader Bakkt project.

If ICE receives permission from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to hold tokens, the CFTC could allow it to list futures through a self-certification process, a source said, adding that the CFTC could require “a public comment on Bakkt or have an ICE panel that assess risks approve the futures contracts.”

Sources also said that some of the Wall Street partners that ICE needs to operate a derivatives market are skeptical about getting involved in a bitcoin-related project.

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