Just last week, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) confirmed the launch of its investor-grade cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt. Pending approval by from the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CTFC), the company will go live on December 12th, 2018.
Bakkt is a point of entry for financial institutions and businesses interested in cryptocurrency. In fact, they’re one of the few companies offering cryptocurrency investment solutions to corporate clients.
Amongst its peers, Bakkt tends to do things very differently.
At the 2018 Futures and Options Expo, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler announced that “[the company] will provide the first federally regulated, physical delivery price discovery contract for the digital currency market.”
Bakkt will convert digital assets to physical objects on its cryptocurrency platform, in the hopes of providing greater security to investors. This system, paired with the ICE’s reputation as a stable investment industry mainstay, should guarantee CTFC approval.
The company has been candid about the vetting process and regularly shares updates. Last month, for instance, the company tweeted this business plan update to its 47,000+ followers:
Changing the Cryptocurrency Trading Game
Bakkt will be an intermediary between traditional investors and the volatile cryptocurrency market. As Fidelity Investment’s entry into the cryptocurrency market demonstrates, there’s a growing demand for these products and services.
“In bringing regulated connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence with the asset class on a global scale,” ICE Chief Executive Jeffrey Sprecher explained.
They’ll start by simplifying the investment and holding process.
Bakkt To Offer Cold Storage
Bakkt will store client assets in cold storage, as opposed to online wallets connected to third-party exchanges. Cold storage involves printing physical proof of asset ownership and keeping these documents secure in vaults or lockers.
Cold storage is usually considered safer than so-called ‘hot wallets’ because digital assets are safe from probing online hacks. To access something in cold storage, the thief would need to steal the actual documents in person.
Now, as Forbes partner Trade.io discovered last week, cold storage does not guarantee protection in cryptocurrency trading. But it is a reliable alternative to leaving assets in their digital form.
The practice of cold storage is also more practical for the busy corporate sector. Bakkt clients can rest easy knowing their assets are beyond the reach of hackers.
Baristas and Bitcoin – A Match Made in Heaven
This little tidbit of Bitcoin news will have coffee aficionados around the world rejoicing!
Bakkt is marketing itself to corporations and financial groups like Starbucks. The Seattle-based company has announced plans to introduce Bakkt technology to their customers at a later date. The intention is to offer a Bitcoin payment option to their consumers:
“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,” Maria Smith, Vice President of Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks, explained.
She continued, “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options to our customers.”
From Wall Street to your street, soon we’ll all be buying coffee with Bitcoin!