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World’s 23rd Richest Man Invests in Cryptocurrency Exchange Bakkt’s First Funding Round

World’s 23rd Richest Man Invests in Cryptocurrency Exchange Bakkt’s First Funding Round

Bakkt, a digital asset platform created by the Intercontinental Exchange, has completed its first funding round, securing an investment from Li Ka-shing, a renowned Hong Kong billionaire and one of the wealthiest men on the planet.

Li Ka-Shing Leads Investment Round For Bakkt

Bakkt, a cryptocurrency platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) had completed its Series A funding round on Dec. 31, 2018. Bakkt signed off more than $180 million raised, entering the new year with a bang.

The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) managed to attract heavyweight tech and venture capital investors, including Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12, and Naspers’ fintech company PayU, Bakkt’s Medium post revealed.

According to EJ Insight, one of the most notable investors in Bakkt was Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong venture capital firm founded by Li Ka-shing. Ka-shing, who is the 23rd richest man in the world according to Forbes; he has been accumulating an assorted portfolio of tech startups over the last decade.

This, however, isn’t the first time Ka-shing has ventured into cryptocurrencies. In 2013, Horizons Ventures invested in BitPay, a bitcoin payment processing software, and in 2016 in Blockstream, a blockchain technology provider.

Investors Recognize Bakkt’s Potential

Bakkt’s plan to launch a digital asset platform that will host institutional-grade futures contracts for bitcoin and other cryptos seems to have resonated well with investors. Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures was joined by CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, and Protocol Ventures, Bakkt’s CEO, Kelly Loeffler said.

Backing by some of the biggest names among institutional investors could help the cryptocurrency market gain much-needed recognition. Institutional backing could also reduce the volatility that has plagued the crypto market for years.

Physically delivered crypto futures will set Bakkt apart from the competition, as rival exchanges CME and CBOE settle their contracts in fiat. Bakkt’s contracts will also be warehoused and cleared through ICE’s US-based futures exchange and clearinghouse.

Many small time crypto traders are looking forward to the launch of Bakkt’s contracts on Jan. 24, 2019, as the initial launch was set for Nov. 2018. The company blamed regulatory setbacks for the delay, with Loeffler saying Bakkt has filed an application with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and was waiting for approval.

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