ICE Makes A Big Move Into Crypto

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which owns and operates the New York Stock Exchange and more than a dozen markets and exchanges worldwide, officially announced its new cryptocurrency business last Friday.

It’s called Bakkt, and the new platform will allow investors to buy, trade and store cryptocurrency on a federally regulated market. Bakkt will focus on bitcoin initially. And it’s scheduled to launch (pending regulatory approval) in November. It will primarily target institutional investors (large financial firms) – though there will be some offerings for retail investors. And it will also help merchants accept cryptocurrency as payment.

Here’s how Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler describes the project:

Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility…

We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.

And here’s how BK Capital Management founder Brian Kelly reacted to the news on CNBC:

They’ll now have a U.S.-regulated exchange, and they have a licensed warehouse, which is how commodities are stored, and that’s going to make it a lot easier for an ETF to come through.

Amen.

Clearly, ICE sees a future in crypto assets. Bakkt’s first product will be a bitcoin futures contract. This contract is different from other bitcoin futures currently on the market because it has real deliverable bitcoin attached to it (by contrast, the CME and CBOE futures are synthetic, meaning there’s no actual bitcoin involved).

Bakkt “Backed” by Major Players

ICE is an extremely large and powerful financial force on its own. And it has chosen very impressive partners to work with on Bakkt.

Investors in the project include…

  • Pantera Capital
  • Susquehanna International Group
  • Protocol Ventures
  • Galaxy Digital
  • Fortress Investment Group.
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Michele Grant 1 year ago Member's comment

Seems like everyone is getting into the #cryptocraze these days.