Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the Atlanta-based firm that owns the New York Stock Exchange, announced Friday that it plans to launch a digital assets platform and a bitcoin futures product.
Called Bakkt, the platform will leverage Microsoft’s cloud to build “an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets,” according to a press release. Effectively, it will allow consumers and institutions to trade, store and spend digital assets over a worldwide network.
Notably, ICE also plans to offer a one-day “physical” bitcoin futures contract – meaning bitcoin is actually delivered on a specified date, unlike other offerings that are settled with cash. The product is expected to launch in November, pending U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approval, ICE states.
The company said that it believes that the regulated venues will create new protocols for managing “the specific security and settlement requirements” of cryptocurrencies.
The firm adds that major companies including BCG, Microsoft and Starbucks are providing expertise on risk management and consumer experience for the project.