Bakkt Raises $182.5M Funding from Major VC Investors, Bitcoin Futures Platform Launch to be Delayed Again

News and Analysis

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency platform by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has announced on the New Year’s Eve that is has completed its first round of funding, raising $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors.

The partners and investors in the first round include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said in a statement:

“Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts”.

Bakkt originally was preparing to launch a new futures market for Bitcoin at the end of 2018, but that has been pushed back due to both regulatory hurdles and the company’s commitment to releasing a platform that is fully functional on day one. Bakkt was targeting January 24, 2019, for the launch, but this date is now likely to be moved.

“The launch had previously been set for January 24, 2019, but will be amended pursuant to the
CFTC’s process and timeline,” the newly published document reads.

Kelly Loeffler added that Bakkt has filed its applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.

“As our COO Adam White and I work through Bakkt’s 2019 objectives, we are focused on opportunities to provide new infrastructure, including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage,” she said.

Kelly Loeffler also said that Bakkt as been working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the better part of 2018.

“At an industry level, regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused Bitcoin will establish and amplify the voice of U.S. authorities as the digital asset market evolves globally,” Loeffler said of the firm’s cooperation with the CFTC, which regulates futures markets.”

What should be noted is that while coupled with the current U.S. government shutdown, Bakkt launch delay is the most likely scenario, there’s also a good chance that it will be only a matter of a few days, so today’s news shouldn’t be considered a big disaster to the market.

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