A Global Regulated Ecosystem for Digital Assets
As interest in the global cryptocurrency market grows, demand for security and efficiency is intensifying. Today, I’m delighted to introduce Bakkt, a company that will enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.
Formed by Intercontinental Exchange — an operator of global exchanges, clearing houses, data and listings services — Bakkt will work with companies that include BCG, Starbucks, Microsoft and others, to create an open ecosystem that supports growing needs in the ~$270 billion digital asset marketplace.
Bakkt is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications. Initially, we’ll focus on the trading and conversion of bitcoin versus fiat currencies, given bitcoin is currently the most liquid digital currency.
By combining regulated infrastructure with institutional and consumer applications, we’ll apply our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets. In this way, we intend to play a key role in boosting institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets.
As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, Intercontinental Exchange’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearing house plan to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing in November 2018, subject to CFTC review and approval. These regulated venues will establish new protocols for managing the specific security and settlement requirements of digital currencies. In addition, the clearing house plans to create a separate guarantee fund that will be funded by Bakkt.
We’re excited about the opportunity to help unlock the transformative potential of digital assets - like cryptocurrencies, loyalty and rewards points, gift cards and gaming assets - across global markets. Bakkt is preparing for launch in upcoming weeks, and we look forward to keeping you updated.