In an Oct. 1 research note, the equity research firm encourages investors to “not get upset” about the lackluster trading volume of Bakkt. For one thing, its parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, has plenty of other electronification initiatives in fixed income analytics and trading, mortgages and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), wrote Oppenheimer senior analyst Own Lau and managing director Chris Kotowski.

It’s too soon to write off Bakkt, despite the bitcoin futures market’s disappointingly slow start, analysts at Oppenheimer & Co. said.

Bakkt’s average daily futures volume was 125 contracts, each for one bitcoin, for the first five days of trading, the analysts noted. This pales in comparison to the 2017 debut of bitcoin futures on CBOE, where the volume was 4,000 contracts in the first month, and at CME, where it was 500 contracts for 5 bitcoin each, totaling 2,500 bitcoin.

Chart via Oppenheimer research note

Unlike those two Chicago exchanges’ bitcoin futures, which are essentially side-bets on the direction of the underlying asset’s price paid out in cash, Bakkt’s are settled in actual bitcoin.

“At this point, we are not going to judge whether Bakkt’s bitcoin futures will be successful or not, or whether the trading volume of Bakkt’s bitcoin futures will increase in the future”, the note says. “We acknowledge that a massive adoption of bitcoin, or any other digital asset, outside of crypto enthusiasts has a long way to go, but also don’t discount that the initial bitcoin futures trading volume introduced by Bakkt didn’t seem to meet the original expectation.”

The note also points out that since the first month CBOE’s average daily volume has been declining, leading it to stop listing bitcoin futures in June of this year, while CME’s average daily volume has been increasing, to 7,000 in July.

Bitcoin might not be the digital coin that gains mass adoption, the analysts went on, and CME and ICE are prepared for the emergence of digital assets with the right infrastructure in place. The research firm pointed to CME’s plans to release bitcoin options in Q1 as proof that there is still interest from institutions in these alternative financial instruments.

Issuing Money Is for Governments, Not Private Firms: Apple CEO

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out about whether his company would launch a cryptocurrency, and the answer is a firm no.

In an interview with Les Echos newspaper, Cook argued that private companies shouldn’t be competing with states on monetary control, stating:

“No. I deeply believe that money must remain in the hands of states. I am not comfortable with the idea that a private group creates a competing currency. A private company does not have to seek to gain power in this way.”

The comment may be a dig at Facebook, which is developing a stablecoin payments project called Libra – slated for a 2020 launch – that has been under fire from regulators worldwide over its potential risk to financial stability and national monetary policies.

Lawmakers in the U.S. and the EU have called for the project to be halted.

Cook further stressed that the control of money should lie with elected governments, saying:

“Money, like Defense, must remain in the hands of States, it is at the heart of their mission. We elect our representatives to assume government responsibilities. Companies are not elected, they do not have to go on this ground.

Rather than go down the crypto path, Apple has been putting its efforts into building its fiat-currency payments initiatives with both Apple Pay and Apple Card aimed to make payments work smoothly across its famous devices.

Cook’s comments take a different direction from Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey, who said last month that the firm is “watching cryptocurrency”, and adding: “We think it’s interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

The firm has, however, been quietly working behind the scenes on blockchain projects.

In February, the Cupertino, California-based firm submitted a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that mentioned Apple’s involvement in the drafting of “Blockchain Guidelines” for the Responsible Business Alliance’s Responsible Minerals Initiative. The group seeks to use blockchain in mineral supply chain due diligence.

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