Bitcoin Price Edges Higher Ahead of Bakkt Trials

Bitcoin’s price notched modest gains Saturday, as crypto markets continued to stabilize ahead of the highly anticipated Bakkt trials. If all goes according to plan, the Intercontinental Exchange-backed trading platform should go live by the end of the third quarter, according to Fundstrat.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price reached a daily high of $10.788.00 on Bitstamp before walking back some of those gains. By the late morning, the BTC/USD exchange rate was up 0.6% at $10,603. Over the 24-hour trading cycle, the cryptocurrency was up 2.2%, according to CoinMarketCap.

BTC/USD: Daily chart. | Source: TradingView.

At current values, bitcoin’s total market is worth just over $188.7 billion, accounting for 65.3% of the overall cryptocurrency market cap. Bitcoin’s dominance rate peaked just below 67% a few days ago.

Bitcoin is coming off an extremely volatile week, as prices plunged toward the $9,000 support before quickly recovering. In the span of just 30 minutes on Thursday, bitcoin’s price catapulted more than $1,000 to regain $10,000, a psychologically significant level. The rally was probably caused by another short squeeze that forced the bears to liquidate their positions.

Read’s Week-in-Review: As Bitcoin Returns Above $10,000, BitMEX Faces Federal Probe and China Rules in Favor of Crypto Ownership

Bakkt Testing to Begin

On July 22, Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt trading platform will begin testing its bitcoin futures product, setting the stage for wider institutional adoption of cryptocurrency. The testing was confirmed last month by Bakkt’s chief operating officer Adam White.

In a June 13 blog post, White said, “Bakkt will initiate user acceptance testing for its bitcoin futures listed and traded at ICE Futures U.S. and cleared at ICE Clear US” beginning July 22.

He added:

“This is no small step. This launch will usher in a new standard for accessing crypto markets. Compared to other markets, institutional participation in crypto remains constrained due to limitations like market infrastructure and regulatory certainty. This results in lower trading volumes, liquidity, and price transparency than more established markets like ICE’s Brent Crude futures contract, which has earned global trust in setting the world’s price of crude oil.”

According to Sam Doctor of Fundstrat Global Advisors, Bakkt is aiming to take its new trading platform live by the end of the third quarter.

Bakkt’s entry into the bitcoin market is an important milestone ahead of next year’s halving event. Bitcoin’s price is up more than threefold from its December low, and all signs seem to point to institutional buyers and long-term holders as the main catalysts for the rally. With Bakkt, there’s a strong reason to believe that institutional interest will increase given all of the steps taken to ensure regulatory compliance and security.

Despite not having any clients, Bakkt has already raised $740 million in Series A funding. Clearly, Bakkt has a lot of backers.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via TradingView.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi