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

CoinSpeaker

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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Source: CoinSpeaker

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

CoinSpeaker

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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Source: CoinSpeaker

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

CoinSpeaker

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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Source: CoinSpeaker

The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

CoinSpeaker

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

CoinSpeaker

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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Source: CoinSpeaker

MIT Technology Review: Blockchain to Become Mundane in 2019

CoinSpeaker

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

Bakkt Raises a Whopping $182 Million Funds for Further Expansion

CoinSpeaker

Bakkt Raises a Whopping $182 Million Funds for Further Expansion

A group of 12 high-profile investors and partners have poured this large sum of money for the further development of the Bakkt infrastructure and its expansion.

Bakkt Raises a Whopping $182 Million Funds for Further Expansion

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Launch of ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Platform Likely to Be Slightly Delayed

CoinSpeaker

Launch of ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Platform Likely to Be Slightly Delayed

It seems that we’ll have to wait some more for Bakkt to get its Bitcoin futures contract approved. A new report claims that the CFTC’s decision-making process has been progressing slow regarding Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contract.

Launch of ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Platform Likely to Be Slightly Delayed

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin [BTC] Futures Contracts get a green signal from the regulatory authorities

Bitcoin Daily Futures contract is reportedly getting a green signal from the authorities which have been a much-awaited Bitcoin Futures that is being launched by New York Stock Exchange [NYSE]’s sister company Bakkt, as per Wall Street Journal.
The Bitcoin Futures contract launched Intercontinental Exchange [ICE] is basically for the institutional players that haven’t been able to get into the cryptocurrency-frenzy. Now that Bakkt is getting approval from the authorities the futures contract will see a massive adoption from institutions due to Bitcoin’s inherent demand.
Bakkt has been rigorously working with Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] to get the much-needed green-signal. The contract was scheduled to be launched on December 12, but it was postponed to late January 2019. ICE announced the rescheduling on November  20, 2018 stating:
“ICE Futures U.S., Inc. will list the new Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures contract for trading on trade date Thursday, January 24, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. The new listing timeframe will provide additional time for customer and clearing member onboarding prior to the start of trading and warehousing of the new contract.”
Bakkt announced the same on their twitter saying that there is still work left to be done and hence it will be delayed.
The approval would make it the first Bitcoin Futures contracts to pay in cryptocurrency instead of the usual, cash.
Moreover, many prominent people in the Bitcoin community are under the hopes and excitement that this approval would kick-start the anticipated bull run for Bitcoin.
Alex Krüger, a prominent trader and an economist, tweeted his enthusiasm:

Adam Back, a cypherpunk, cryptographer and the CEO of Blockstream displayed his support by tweeting:
“looking forward to @bakkt one day physical delivered #Bitcoin future, traded on ICE’s electronic trading platform, and physically delivered to Bakkt Warehouse for custody.”
CryptoChartsJoe commented:
“Believe it when I see it, we’ve been lied to many times before!”
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Futures Contracts get a green signal from the regulatory authorities appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

“Yes, Digital Assets Will Survive”- Bitcoin Jumps 15% Following ICE’s Jeffrey Sprecher’s Comments

Image Source: Institutional Investors
After weeks of struggling, Bitcoin has quietly recovered on Wednesday. At press time, the world’s largest cryptocurrency hit $4181.25 with market cap $72,747,765,955. During the ebb and flow graph of bitcoin, reports revealed that the CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher encourages Bitcoin.
At the Consensus Invest Conference in New York on Tuesday, the chair of the New York Stock Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher discussed the present scenario of Bitcoin and crypto market. While looking at the news headlines questioning “Will digital assets survive? Jeffrey said;
“I’d say the unequivocal answer is yes.” “We’re kind of agnostic to price”.He adds
The conversation was held in presence of Bakkt’s CEO Kelly Loeffler who is also the wife of Jeffrey Sprecher. Bakkt, a crypto platform designed for institutional investors. However, it is owned by ICE to offer a federally regulated market for crypto assets. In contrast to competitor including CME Group and CBOE where Bitcoin futures are settled in cash, Bakkt will offer future contracts settle on a daily basis in BTC.
Loeffler remarked how bitcoin futures are settled in different prices on different exchanges. She ensured, Bakkt will help traders establish a trusted price. Since Bakkt is a product of the same company, it debuts crypto market with the support of big names – BCG, Starbucks, and Microsoft.
Reporting to Starbucks, Barron’s (a news source) reported that the coffee company cannot assure the timeline it sets to enable cryptocurrency payments for customers to get coffee with. Despite the market sell-off, it is good to remark a few of the major players are encouraging crypto price to rise up. Accordingly, Pascal Guthier, Ledger wallet’s president notes that;
At the very least, it’s a good sign that major institutions are doubling down on their investments, even as the price drops. Adding that “No one has dropped out of crypto,”
The post “Yes, Digital Assets Will Survive”- Bitcoin Jumps 15% Following ICE’s Jeffrey Sprecher’s Comments appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

2019 to Bring the Next Bull Run Driven by Institutional Investment

With Bakkt launching its Bitcoin futures contracts in about mid-December while one of the largest asset managers Fidelity Investments has already announced its subsidiary Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS) and Goldman Sachs along with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital investing in custody solutions, 2019 is showing promising signs.
Big names, big game
2019 is looking promising with each passing day as more and more institutions announce their crypto plan. With the latest reports suggesting Bakkt will start trading Bitcoin futures close to this year-end, mid-December to be exact, things keep on getting interesting and bullish for the next year.
In less than two months from now, Bakkt will be ready with its platform “designed to enable consumers and institutions to seamlessly buy, sell, store and spend digital assets. Formed with the purpose of bringing trust, efficiency, and commerce to digital assets, Bakkt seeks to develop open technology to connect existing market and merchant infrastructure to the blockchain.”
As put by Jeffrey C. Sprecher, founder, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the company behind Bakkt,
“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets.”
Fidelity Investments, one of the largest asset managers having millions of customers has already announced the creation of its subsidiary Fidelity Digital Asset Services (FDAS). From crypto enthusiasts, investors to experts everyone is extremely bullish about Fidelity’s involvement in the crypto space.
As recently stated by CNBC’s Brian Kelly regarding institutional investment,
“Soon. I think very soon. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of those companies have something working in the background by Q1 of 2019. I mean if you’re looking at this, there are a couple things you need to think of. Fidelity is in this space. Also, remember that startups like Robinhood launched a crypto app and got a million users in four days. So if you are at Schwab or you’re at E*Trade, then you may start to look at that and say, “Where are the customers?” And they’re in crypto, so you gotta offer that product.”
Also, Goldman Sachs along with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital invested in crypto custody firm BitGo. Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally has said,
“We believe that a custody offering is a logical precursor to digital asset market making,” at that time while Novogratz attributed it as “more institutional architecture.”
Experts like Mike Novogratz and Brian Kelly among others believe Institutional FOMO will drive the next crypto bull run.
Do you think the next crypto bull run will be in fact propelled forward by institutional investors? And will 2019 be the ultimate institutions in a crypto year? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below!
The post 2019 to Bring the Next Bull Run Driven by Institutional Investment appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Crypto Experts Join Bitcoin Developer & fmr. Morgan Stanley MD to Appeal SEC for Regulatory Framework

It has been only less than 48 hours since the news of a letter written by leading crypto experts to SEC asking for upgrading the regulations to fit in cryptocurrencies has surfaced, and it has already started receiving support from other analysts and industry veterans. The latest names who have come in support of it are Morgan Creek Digital’s founder and partner, Anthony Pompliano and blockchain expert and board member of 9Spokes, Thomas Power.
Industry backs upgradation of law
Crypto experts and analysts have added their opinion to the recent proceedings with the SEC delaying decision on the VanEck/SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal by submitting their views of having an upgraded regulatory framework for accommodating cryptocurrencies. Of several recommendations made to the SEC, Bitcoin Core’s developer Bryan Bishop argued that the biggest change the SEC should bring about is to implement policies and regulations directly in partnership with cryptocurrency engineers. The letter quoted
“We recommend that the SEC engage with those who are experienced with technology, such as cryptographic engineers, software developers, Bitcoin exchanges, smart-contract designers, blockchain developers, and existing digital-asset managers to ensure best practices are implemented.”
In addition to being a co-author of the letter, Brian bishop had was also quoted by Forbes saying
“Bitcoin is fundamentally a technological system with many nooks and crannies, It’s the concept that rules can be enforced using software, math and cryptography rather than policy”
The comment and voice have found backing of other crypto experts as well. When asked by media about this suggestion put forward by Bryan Bishop Morgan Creek Digital’s founder and partner, Anthony Pompliano said ‘of course’ in agreement. He added that he did not know whether the SEC would have considered these suggestions and did not comment further on the proceedings taking place.
Echoing Anthony Pompliano sentiment, blockchain expert and board member of 9Spokes, Thomas Power also agreed with Bryan Bishop’s claims on the basis of ‘logic’ but refused to see the historical evidence behind such a move coming to exist.
Also, read: Current Regulatory Framework doesn’t Suit Enterprise Adoption of Cryptos: Veterans Tell SEC
Upgradation of regulation necessary said the letter to SEC  
The group of Industry experts and veterans comprising of Bitcoin core developer Bryan Bishop, former Morgan Stanley managing director Caitlin Long, e-commerce coding pioneer Chris Allen, founder of Ernst & Young’s blockchain team Angus Champion de Crespigny and fund manager attorney Gavin Fearey, in an letter to SEC had put forward their intent to assist the SEC by disclosing what they feel are critical considerations for handling cryptocurrency regulation that was not addressed in other comment letters previously made public by the SEC. The letter further stated that the digital assets are a unique asset class with unique strengths and abilities and if they are fitted into existing market infrastructure, there will be the introduction of risks to investors that would not otherwise exist. The group suggests that the SEC should try to possibility update the market infrastructure if it actually wants to take advantage of Bitcoin and other technology and further strengthen the financial system.
The letter had also argued to put restrictions on Bakkt, the ICE planned cryptocurrency exchange expected to launch in November. The authors stated that the process of storing all funds in a single place and lending out or otherwise investing the stored cryptocurrency could devalue Bitcoin by creating more liquidity than there are assets to back it. According to the report
“Digital assets are natively segregated, and maintaining this natural segregation at all times would best protect investors by conforming to the architecture of digital asset technology.”
It also stated
“ Commingling (of digital assets) creates a “honeypot” for hackers to attack, and the ability of financial institutions to manage this security risk is likely to vary widely”
The concerns raised by the veterans regarding current regulations and enterprises is something that can’t be overlooked and now with more industry experts and analyst backing it looks like SEC may have to break its precedents and consider an exception for this one
Will SEC up its game and upgrade the regulatory framework to accommodate cryptocurrencies? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape