“This is what the market has been crying for.” David Mercer, the founder of UK trading firm LMAX, is typically critical of the futures markets for cryptocurrency.

He doesn’t think the underlying spot market is mature enough yet for a futures one on top of it. But he, like many other experts, saw Friday’s news that the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange was launching Bakkt, a crypto ecosystem, as a positive step to the market.

But it’s not the fact that the platform might make it possible for someone to convert their crypto into USD to buy a latte at Starbucks that has Wall Streeters excited. It’s something a bit more pedantic to the non-trading wonk.

The first step in the platform will be a crypto futures contract that physically delivers bitcoin. Elsewhere, at rivals CME and Cboe Global Markets, bitcoin futures settle in cash.

At the end of a futures bet that’s cash-settled, a trader receives or pays the difference between the price at which they bought the contract and its settlement price. In contrast, with a physical-settled future, a trader would take their payment in physical bitcoin. Read more from businessinsider.com…

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