The amount of Bitcoin that was physically delivered in January on Bakkt has increased by 1,600% in recent weeks, according to data collated by cryptocurrency analysis firm Arcane Research and compiled by UK exchange Luno.
Bakkt is a custodian that holds Bitcoin on behalf of Intercontinental Exchange's Bitcoin futures exchange. Since the futures have the option of being physically delivered, Bakkt is responsible for handing the movement of Bitcoin between traders.
It was this physical delivery that excited Bitcoiners, since the more Bitcoin that was being traded on the exchange would increase the demand for Bitcoin. This is unlike cash-settled Bitcoin futures, where payments are made in cash.
However, as Decrypt pointed out in November, few traders have been settling their trades in Bitcoin. At the time, just 32 Bitcoin had beent raded in both October and November—despite record-breaking trading volume.
But, there has been a sudden turnaround. So far this month, 230 Bitcoin has been physically delivered, worth $2 million. This is up from last month, when just eight Bitcoin was delivered.
However, it may not last. Bakkt has already announced that it plans to roll out cash-settled Bitcoin futures, to compete with rivals CME—that also rolled out options trading earlier this month.
Besides an increase in deliveries, the amount of open interest (unsettled contracts) for Bakkt's monthly futures has also grown and currently sits at $6.17 million—up 14% in the last day.
In the last month, Bitcoin (BTC) has climbed by more than 23% to reach a high of over $9,100, before cooling off to its current value of just over $9,000—a growth of four percent since yesterday.
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