U.S. SEC Delays Its Decision on Bitwise and VanEck Bitcoin ETF Application to May

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U.S. SEC Delays Its Decision on Bitwise and VanEck Bitcoin ETF Application to May
The U.S. securities regulator continues to remain firm on its decision of not approving the Bitcoin ETF anytime soon. Next window for ETF decision now in May 2019.
U.S. SEC Delays Its Decision on Bitwise and VanEck Bitcoin ETF Application to May

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Bakkt’s Post-Money Valuation Stands At $740 Million Even Before Launch

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Bakkt’s Post-Money Valuation Stands At $740 Million Even Before Launch
Despite several delays in its launch, Bakkt’s valuation currently stands at $740 million with major financial institutions holding their stake in the platform.
Bakkt’s Post-Money Valuation Stands At $740 Million Even Before Launch

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Bakkt’s Parent Intercontinental Exchange Lists 58 New Crypto Tokens to Its Data Feed

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Bakkt’s Parent Intercontinental Exchange Lists 58 New Crypto Tokens to Its Data Feed
The ICE’s Data Services will provide real-time and historical data for all the newly added crypto tokens.
Bakkt’s Parent Intercontinental Exchange Lists 58 New Crypto Tokens to Its Data Feed

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Mike Novogratz: Another BTC Value Surge is About to Happen

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Mike Novogratz: Another BTC Value Surge is About to Happen
As Bitcoin (BTC) is clinging on to its $4,000 price tag, major crypto figures are betting big on a potential bull run. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that cryptocurrency investors should get too carried away by the recent price uptick.
Mike Novogratz: Another BTC Value Surge is About to Happen

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Bakkt: Starbucks receives disproportionate amount of shares in platform following deal

Owing to a new deal, Starbucks received a “disproportionate” amount of shares in Bakkt. The deal between the two comes in the middle of Bakkt’s launch that was awaited by a lot of institutional players in the United States.
According to The Block, a spokesperson close to the deal said, “There’s a high value from having a brand of this level” and that this was not surprising due to the support Starbucks gave Bakkt. The Seattle-based coffee company secured a “mutually beneficial” agreement which provides it with a huge stake in Bakkt.
Starbucks accepts payments through cryptocurrencies via Bakkt’s software that converts crypto-to-fiat. Currently, this service will only be available to customers in the US. However, there was no information regarding their future plans or Starbucks’ global expansion of the service.
Starbucks announced its partnership with Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft, and BCG on August 3, 2018. Additionally, this would users to buy anything at Starbucks using cryptocurrencies and Bakkt’s software.
Starbucks’ Maria Smith, Vice President of Partnerships said,
“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.”
Bakkt’s launch was delayed three times and is now awaiting approval from the CFTC [Center for Commodity and Futures Commission]. The delay in approval was speculated to be due to to the recent U.S Government shutdown.
The post Bakkt: Starbucks receives disproportionate amount of shares in platform following deal appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

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Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

It seems that Starbucks has received a significant portion of equity in Bakkt despite not being a direct cash investor.

Starbucks Receives Bakkt Equity to Start Accepting Bitcoin Payments in 2019

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Bakkt’s launch pushed to late 2019, informs CEO of Intercontinental Exchange [ICE]

Jeff Sprecher, the Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Exchange [ICE] announced that the firm’s digital asset platform, Bakkt will be expecting a launch later in 2019. Sprecher made this announcement during an earnings call on Thursday, reported the Toshi Times.
While discussing ICE’s financial results for Q4 and the year of 2018, Sprecher disclosed that the company spent over $1 billion on strategic initiatives, which also included its launch of the digital asset platform.
ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and operates in 23 leading global exchanges. The Chief Financial Officer [CFO] of the company, Scott Hill, further shared his expectations on the investments Bakkt will be bringing in, as per its current financial review.
Hill said:
“And finally, our investment in Bakkt will generate $20 million to $25 million of expense based upon the run rate in the first quarter. We will update you on progress at Bakkt and the level of investment as we move through the year.”
When Sprecher was asked about the returns or revenue growth expected from the recent investments, including Bakkt, he described the crypto platform as a “moonshot bet” for ICE. He claimed:
“So it’s a bit of a moonshot bet and it’s been organized in a manner that is very different than the way ICE typically does businesses […] They’re well along in building out an infrastructure that I think you’ll see launch later this year.”
Sprecher clarified that Bakkt is independent of ICE as it has its own team and infrastructure. The CEO further informed that the project has independently garnered the attention of high-profile investors and partners, including Starbucks and Microsoft, reported CoinTelegraph.
The publication reported Hill concluding that Bakkt is more of a long-term project instead of a 2019-focused agenda. Hill said:
“I think Bakkt is really an investment […] That’s more about the future and revenue and market opportunities that we see in the future and less about 2019 topline”.
Bakkt was announced in August 2018 by ICE and was set to launch in early 2019. However, the date was postponed due to ongoing deliberations with the United States Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.
ICE had on 9 February announced the finalization of its acquisition of assets in futures commission merchant Rosenthal Collins Group.
The post Bakkt’s launch pushed to late 2019, informs CEO of Intercontinental Exchange [ICE] appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Chief Confident About Future for Bakkt and Crypto 

The ongoing regulatory delays and hurdles imposed by the US government have not dampened the enthusiasm for crypto related products such as the highly anticipated Bakkt launch.
Bakkt Will be a ‘Moonshot Bet’
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has recently announced its fourth quarter earnings which have beat some Wall Street predictions. Chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher took the opportunity to speak on the sterling performance and shed some light on the Bakkt crypto project. Seeking Alpha ran a full transcript of the conference call in which Sprecher referred to Bakkt as a “moonshot bet”.
Over a billion dollars has been spent on strategic investments in 2018, including the Bakkt crypto futures project, according to CFO Scott Hill. Sprecher added that Bakkt had raised over $180 million from ICE and twelve other investors and partners including Fortress Investment Group and Susquehanna International Group. He said that “as we look to 2019 and beyond we’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, not only for our core business but also for newer initiatives,” which includes Bakkt.
The launch delays have been largely the fault of the US government shutdown imposed by president Trump. The highly anticipated product has been seen as a major on-ramp for crypto as it includes some major players. The firm aims to create a crypto ecosystem to bring huge companies such as Starbucks and Microsoft into the crypto industry. Sprecher stated;
“That infrastructure has attracted a lot of very, very interesting companies that have come — some that have invested in Bakkt, some are just working with Bakkt to try to tap into that infrastructure for some new use cases that will involve blockchain and digital assets and other things that we can provide these people. Obviously, we’ve announced the Starbucks — our work with Starbucks and Microsoft. We have very, very large retail franchises global connectivity to end users that we hope will be brought into that ecosystem and could create a very, very valuable company out of that initiative if our business plan plays out.”
Regarding the Bakkt launch date there were no specifics mentioned, only that it is expected ‘later this year’. Last month the company revealed more details about its Bitcoin futures products. The Bakkt BTC (USD) Daily Future will be a 1 BTC contract that will be physically delivered.
Bakkt also announced the acquisition of assets from Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) last month. The ‘back office’ infrastructure will be needed to develop the crypto ecosystem and ensure full security and a trusted fintech solution for its clients.
Image from Shutterstock
The post Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Chief Confident About Future for Bakkt and Crypto  appeared first on NewsBTC.
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Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

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Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher talked about how his team is working diligently for the launch of Bakkt and why he continues to hold utmost faith in Bitcoin.

Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

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Bitcoin Will Gain More Than 80% Throughout 2019, New Study Explains Why

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Bitcoin Will Gain More Than 80% Throughout 2019, New Study Explains Why

Despite the persistent crypto winter, a panel of financial markets analysts in Australia predicted that Bitcoin will rise by over 80% throughout 2018 fueled by several short-term catalysts.

Bitcoin Will Gain More Than 80% Throughout 2019, New Study Explains Why

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Bakkt Announces Details of Bitcoin Futures Contracts

The much anticipated Bakkt platform by the Intercontinental Exchange has today announced further details about its Bitcoin Futures product that was due to launch today. The forthcoming exchange platform will be offering physically delivered daily futures contracts with an aim to bring greater regulatory oversight to Bitcoin price discovery.
The contracts will be traded in BTC/USD and will use the ICE’s electronic trading platform. However, Bakkt itself is still pending full regulatory approval.
Bakkt Gives Investors First Glimpses of Opening Product
The Intercontinental Exchange has posted a list of details about the highly anticipated Bakkt platform’s first product. The venture, which is expected by many to become a one-stop-crypto-shop of sorts and aiding in regulated price discovery, is starting out by offering one day, physically delivered Bitcoin futures.
Although there is nothing too dramatic in the details published earlier, for anyone hoping to trade using the Bakkt platform, they should provide further insight into the nature of the product offered.
According to the Market Specifications released today, the trading screen product name for the Bitcoin contracts offered by the platform will be the “Bakkt BTC (USD) Daily Future”. Each contract will be a 1 BTC in size. Prices will be quoted in US dollars up to two decimal places. The minimum price fluctuation will be $2.50 per contract, reducing to 1c per Bitcoin on block trades of 10 BTC or more. There will also be no upper limit on daily prices and fees will be charged at 50c (incorporating both exchange and clearing) per side of a trade.  There will, however, be a position limit of 100,000 lots in any one contract date.
The trading times for the Bakkt platform will be between 20:00 and 18:00, with a pre-open at 19:55. Meanwhile, daily settlement will occur between 16:58 and 17:00 each day. All times are in Eastern Prevailing Time. To oversee the delivery of these futures contracts, a regulated custody solution, known as the Bakkt Warehouse, will be used.
Additionally, the Bakkt platform is looking for experienced members of staff to help bring its vision of a fully regulated Bitcoin trading venue to light. Details can be found at the platform’s Twitter account:

We're hiring: https://t.co/CZ86BflOe4
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) January 22, 2019

Bakkt Forging Ahead Whilst Still Pending Approval
The Bakkt platform was first announced last summer to great excitement. The fact that the Intercontinental Exchange (the owner of the New York Stock Exchange) is behind it has stamped an air of legitimacy over the Bitcoin space for many. At the time of the announcement, the mention of the likes of Microsoft and Starbucks being involved in the platform in some capacity also generated anticipation.
Since then, those behind the project have been working hard to flesh out the final details for launch. This has included raising a massive $182.5 million from its first round of funding.
The platform itself was due to launch in mid-December but owing to an underestimation of the processes requiring finalising prior to the platform’s first day trading, the opening date was put back to today back in November of last year.
However, since then yet another major stumbling block has hindered the opening of Bakkt. The platform is yet to gain regulatory approval from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. This has meant that the launch has had to be postponed until such approval is secured. With today’s publishing of final product details, however, it seems that the Bakkt platform is now only waiting for a green light from the CFTC for it to finally open for business.
 
Related Reading: BitPay CEO: Fidelity and Bakkt Will Drive Next Major Bitcoin Rally
Featured Image from Shutterstock.
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Top 5 Crypto and Blockchain Events We’re All Waiting for in 2019

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Top 5 Crypto and Blockchain Events We’re All Waiting for in 2019

While that the cryptocurrency industry is going through a very rough phase, here are the five events expected to set the growth trajectory of the crypto market in 2019.

Top 5 Crypto and Blockchain Events We’re All Waiting for in 2019

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The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

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The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

The Bakkt platform is not letting multiple delays cringe their business strategies. They have announced vacant positions targeting to hire experienced and top-ranking executives.

The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

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Source: CoinSpeaker

All You Need to Know About the Security Token Offering

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All You Need to Know About the Security Token Offering

Victor Larionov, crypto expert, CEO at Priority Token and partner at Hax Ventures, shares what hides behind Security Token Offering, explains how it differs from ICO unveiling what potential it holds for the whole industry.

All You Need to Know About the Security Token Offering

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MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

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MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

MIT Technology Review published an article, providing an overview of the recent history of blockchain and explaining why it will start to become mundane in 2019. 

MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

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Source: CoinSpeaker