Bakkt Acquires Established Futures Brokerage to Strengthen Bitcoin Offering
Coming Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt announced Monday the acquisition of an independent futures commission merchant for an undisclosed amount. The move aims to augment Bakkt’s services for institutional investments in cryptocurrency assets.
On the back of a $182 million capital raise, Bakkt’s relentless work in developing a trusted brokerage for cryptocurrencies is unfolding. The firm understands building trading engines and custodian services are part of the battle, but aligning that with trusted financial providers is what may attract institutional capital to the crypto-finance sector.
According to a blog post, Bakkt has begun the process of acquiring “certain assets” owned by the Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), a Chicago-based options broker that develops and operates trading platforms tailored to large orders, high-frequency firms, and retail investors. The transaction is expected to complete in February 2019. Once complete, RCG’s workers would join the Bakkt team moving forward.
To strengthen its offering, Bakkt is acquiring RCG’s framework of treasury operations and risk management, with an additional focus on AML/KYC, customer service, and regulatory compliance. As noted on their blog, the efforts stem from Bakkt’s aim to enhance digital asset offerings and enable “more choice and control” to buyers and sellers.
Bakkt’s Pre-Launch Preparations
Bakkt added it is “not standing still” as it awaits regulatory approval from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to launch its crypto-trading service. Instead, it is augmenting its product by investing in technology that will allow it to build a robust platform.
Meanwhile, updates about Bakkt’s impending launch remain unknown. The firm was earlier scheduled for a November 2018 start, which was then postponed to January 2019, and finally postponed “indefinitely” as regulatory approvals are sought.
Bakkt is backed by some of the world’s most influential companies, including Microsoft, Starbucks, and Bain Capital, and is a product of the New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) parent company Intercontinental Exchange. The firm specializes in physically-delivered settlements for Bitcoin futures and aims to build a platform that allows quick-conversion of digital assets for merchants and business outlets.
Expectations are high, and once Bakkt goes live, consumers hope that it will usher in a new period of liquidity and adoption.
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