Bakkt Futures Trading Reaches Peak

The Bakkt exchange is still in the process of price discovery, with unstable trading activity.

The Bakkt futures exchange marked a day of record trading, following a few days of relative weakness. Bakkt launched about two weeks ago, and still has volumes below $9 million, with under $1 million on most days.

On Thursday, Bakkt futures trading reached $1.93 million, a significant peak. The renewed interest happened after Bitcoin (BTC) spot prices recovered to above $8,600 with trading activity gaining to above $20 billion in 24 hours.

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So far, there is no strong connection found between the futures markets and the spot market. Because the launch of the Bakkt futures coincided with a deep correction of BTC prices, some expected that the market would also lead to spot manipulation.

The BTC spot market, on the other hand, remains extremely active, fueled by stablecoin trading. Each day, above 2.43 million BTC change hands. Bakkt cannot even compare to the influence of large-scale exchanges, which currently hold the biggest “whale” wallets. Even smaller holders have enough BTC to sway prices significantly.

Still, the acceptance of a mainstream product that also allows BTC delivery is seen as a step toward mainstream adoption. Bakkt itself prided on generating a unique event of price discovery. However, the CME futures are currently in the lead, on track to complete their second year.

CME additionally plans to offer options on BTC futures, creating a more complex market with the possibility to hedge BTC price risk.

Bakkt is yet to show if its volumes grow enough to create a significant market force. Currently, traders see signs of outflows of institutional investors from BTC. Grayscale moved on to offer its GBTC shares to institutional investors based on native asset value (NAV), instead of at market premium. During peak BTC prices, institutional investors bought GBTC with a premium as high as 22%.

BTC traded at $8,532.69 on Thursday, slightly down from the recent recovery to above $8,600.

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