CEO of ICE’s Bakkt Digital Asset Platform Mike Blandina Quits 4 Months after Joining

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
CEO of ICE’s Bakkt Digital Asset Platform Mike Blandina Quits 4 Months after Joining
Photo: Depositphotos

Huge changes at the Bakkt’s top management: ICE’s Vice President, M&A and Integration David Clifton will replace Bakkt’s current CEO Mike Blandina.

There’s a major shake-up taking place at the top-level management of ICE‘s Bakkt Digital Asset Platform. Mike Blandina, who joined as the CEO of Bakkt four months back, has decided to step down from his role. As per reports, he is leaving to pursue new opportunities in the market.

Mike Blandina at Bakkt

Blandina replaced the now U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) as the Bakkt CEO in December 2019. Earlier, Ms. Loeffler joined the Digital asset platform as the CEO ever since Bakkt’s inception in August 2018.

In an official press release, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said that they have appointed David Clifton as Interim CEO of Bakkt. Currently, Clifton has been working as ICE’s Vice President, M&A and Integration. On the other hand, Adam White, the Bakkt President will continue his role in the company.

In his new role, Clifton will focus on Bakkt’s integration with Bridge2 Solutions. Bakkt acquired the loyalty program platform Bridge2 Solutions earlier this year to drive ahead Bakkt’s growth initiatives. On Clifton’s appointment as the new Bakkt CEO, Jeffrey Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ICE, stated:

“David Clifton has been deeply engaged in many of our most important initiatives over the years and, after helping to lead the acquisition of Bridge2 to accelerate the rollout of Bakkt’s consumer application, I know he will provide outstanding leadership for Bakkt as its Interim CEO. I also want to express our gratitude to Mike Blandina for his work to help grow Bakkt during an important transformational period for the company and wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”

Bakkt’s Growth Since Inception

The world’s leading commodities market player Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced the launch of its Digital Asset Platform Bakkt in 2018. Since day one ICE’s aim for Bakkt has been clear. ICE plans to leverage the Bakkt platform for creating institutional as well as retail participation in the crypto industry.

For institutional players, ICE’s Bakt launched its Bitcoin physically-settled Bitcoin futures contracts in august 2019. Being operational under the regulatory observation of the SEC, Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures managed to draw substantial institutional interest. Bakkt also has its own Warehouse facility to allow participants to store their physical Bitcoin tokens in a safe and secure manner.

On the retail front, Bakkt is working with giants like Starbucks. Using Bakkt’s mobile application, users can directly spend their crypto assets for making any purchases at Starbucks.

Last month, Bakkt received a whopping $300 million in Series B funding from ICE. Bakkt used these funds to acquire Bridge2 Solutions which will be helping the digital asset manager to accelerate the development of Bakkt consumer application.

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