Bakkt Ramps Up to Launch by December, Adds Coinbase Executive as COO
Bakkt, the prospective powerhouse of institutional cryptocurrency sponsorship, is adding Chief Operating Officer the fifth-ever employee and General Manager of Coinbase, Adam White, and revealed that they expect its full range of trading services will hit the market as early as December.
Welcoming White in a post on Medium, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler nodded to the credentials of Coinbase’s Vice-President and General Manager, while dropping the quiet bombshell that her InterContinental Exchange-owned crypto ecosystem was expecting to by December offer a full suite of regulated trading, custody, and clearing, subject to approval by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). She stated:
“Speaking of our launch, we’re hard at work with members and customers preparing for it. Our exchange and clearing house boards — and the clearing house risk committee — have all reviewed and approved the respective rules. We’re taking a transparent approach to engage across the industry as we begin testing and onboarding in November, and trading and warehousing in December, subject to CFTC approval.”
White Walks Up Wall Street
To many, White’s arrival at Bakkt will read as an unmistakable symbiosis between old-school finance and the still-peripheral crypto industry — a merging that would supposedly see the young sector proliferated in a multi-trillion-dollar, transcontinental injection of capital and resources.
And as the former head of institutional products at Coinbase, White would now appear to be throwing his full weight behind the mounting push for industrial-grade crypto sponsorship.
Speaking to Fortune, the Harvard business graduate explained that he joined Bakkt in a mission to help the cryptocurrency market tick the boxes of banks; providing levels of risk management found in equities, gold, and other decades-old market infrastructure. He noted:
“In 2017, I saw a big shift. The interest in Bitcoin and other currencies started changing from retail to the institutional side. But the level of infrastructure of the existing trading sites often didn’t meet their expectations. That’s why they’re waiting on the sidelines.”
Call for Bakkt-Up
As if to soothe the concerns of said sidelined-whales, Loeffler pitched in Bakkt’s mantra of wanting to preserve “market integrity” — this time elaborating her plan to stomp out “misconceptions regarding commingling, leverage, and rehypothecation”.
In the words of Loeffler, ICE head of digital assets and Bakkt chief whip, Bakkt’s “conservative market design” will feature a number of fail-safe features that will purportedly protect all of the platform’s users, including requiring full pre-funding of Bitcoin trades, and a separate guarantee fund backed by Bakkt and InterContinental Exchange’s (ICE) vast pool of capital.
Loeffler stoked the fires of anticipation with a final primer, highlighting ICE’s part in creating the early 2000s’ energy market boom — adding that the leviathan exchange would play its part in a “revolution on the same scale in cryptocurrencies.”
Cover Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash
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