Intercontinental Exchange Announces Bakkt, a Global Platform, and Ecosystem for Digital Asset.
The parent company of the New York stock exchange (NYSE) and the leading operator of exchanges in the world Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), yesterday announced that it is making plans to launch a new company dubbed Bakkt.
This company will take advantage of Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.
ICE which is also known for its operations in clearinghouses, data and listings services, added that the new company has clinched some premium partnerships.
The company is currently working with some high-level companies such as BCG, Microsoft, and Starbucks as they look to build an integrated platform.
The product would make it possible for consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.
The Bakkt ecosystem will be wide and cover a lot, including federally regulated markets and warehousing and also merchant and consumer applications.
The first function of the ecosystem is the trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies, with the choice of Bitcoin obvious as it is the most liquid cryptocurrency at the moment.
The aim of this project is to address the evolving and increasing need for the cryptocurrency marketplace which currently has a total market cap of around $270 billion.
KPMG revealed that applications for cryptocurrencies continue to rise as regulatory framework for the industry is being developed slowly.
This has led to an increase in blockchain investment which at this point has already surpassed the total investments made last year.
By taking advantage of trusted market infrastructure, Bakkt is designed to aid digital asset markets make progress securely and efficiently simultaneously while supporting transaction flows
Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange commenting on this latest development stated:
“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets.”
As one of the first components of the Bakkt offering, the company’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearinghouse are looking to organize a physically delivered Bitcoin contract and physical warehousing by November this year.
The regulated venues will put in place new rules that will guide managing the specific security and settlement requirements of cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, ICE is also planning to launch a separate guarantee fund which will be funded by Bakkt.
Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt explained:
“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.”
According to Sean Collins, Senior Partner, BCG,
“Blockchain technology holds tremendous potential to enable new business models and trusted ecosystems. By leveraging and developing fundamental market infrastructure, the Bakkt platform will enable firms across industries to accelerate a range of innovation.”
Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks said:
“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks,”
“As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”
Asides ICE and M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, other investors in Bakkt include Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.
At the moment, Bakkt is preparing for the launch, with further operational details to be communicated to the general public in a few weeks.