ICE revealed the development in an Oct. 4 press release, specifying that the first Bakkt Bitcoin Futures block trade was executed between digital assets merchant bank Galaxy Digital and crypto investment firm XBTO on Oct. 1. The deal was cleared by agricultural commodities merchant ED&F Man. Following the block trade execution, XBTO stated:
“Last week, we bought the first Bakkt Bitcoin Daily Futures contract and took the first physical delivery of a digital asset under existing commodity futures laws and regulations. This week, we executed the first block trade. We’re pleased to report that the launch was successful and can accommodate large trades.”
Block trades are privately arranged futures or options transactions that can be executed separately from the public market. According to CME Group, block trades are often executed by large firms and institutions with particular purposes in mind.
Bakkt’s anticipation and the initial reaction
Bakkt failed to impress on the first day of trading purportedly due to the fact that the currency’s price had been range-bound, so institutional traders were in no hurry to initiate positions. The day after launch, the Bitcoin price took its largest intraday hit since January, losing some 13% on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at digital asset trading platform eToro argued, “The catalyst for today’s plunge, in my mind, seems to be the underwhelming launch of Bakkt. This is a prime example of ‘buy the rumor, sell the news.’”