ICE’s Bakkt platform has recently raised a whopping $182 million worth funds from 12 high profile partners and investors. Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler made this announcement through her Medium post on the last day of 2018. Bakkt is the crypto trading and liquidity platform announced by NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), back in August 2018.
Some of the high-profile companies from the industry supporting Bakkt include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.
Bakkt CEO Loeffler said that the platform continues to spearhead its vision of providing institutional access to digital assets. Furthermore, it is also actively working with merchants and consumers alike. Bakkt has also collaborated with big retail giants like Starbucks for the same.
Talking about the platform’s 2019 objectives, Loeffler wrote:
“We are focused on opportunities to provide new infrastructure, including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage.”
Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Launch Delayed Further
In another separate announcement by the ICE, Bakkt announced further delay to the launch of its Bitcoin futures contracts. Earlier scheduled on January 24, 2019, it seems like the launch could now shift to the month of February. However, in the notice, ICE says that it will soon provide an update regarding the same.
Bakkt said that the platform is still undergoing the process of approval from the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Kelly Loeffler also commented on the recent uncertainties surrounding the launch of Bakkt. She said:
“The path to developing new markets is rarely linear: progress tends to modulate between innovation, dismissal, reinvention and, finally, acceptance. While access to information as technology innovation occurs is extremely valuable, the risk is a ‘marking to market’ of innovations before they have a chance to mature. Few innovations reached their full potential in their first decade of development.”
However, in a word with CoinDesk, Pantera Capital partner Paul Veradittakit showed their complete support to the Bakkt platform. Veradittakit wrote:
“Pantera is excited to support Bakkt in its journey to provided needed infrastructure for both institutional and retail investors,. Regulated physically settled bitcoin futures is the first step of many to bring more regulated and ease of access to cryptocurrencies.”
Bakkt CEO Praises the Development of Bitcoin Infrastructure
Although the Bitcoin performance of 2018 has largely disappointed its investors, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler still backs it. She says that 2018, in fact, was the most active year for the crypto industry. She supports the strengthening of Bitcoin infrastructure in the last year and notes that the BTC price is not just the sole indicator of its performance. Loeffler wrote:
“Notably, 2018 was the most active year for crypto in its brief ten-year history. This was evidenced by rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, as well as by blockchain network metrics such as daily bitcoin transaction value and active addresses. Yet, these milestones tend to be overshadowed by the more narrow focus on bitcoin’s price, which has been seen by some, as a proxy for the potential of the technology.”