Bakkt, a cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity provider backed by the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company ICE has announced that it has completed its first funding round. The digital asset platform has raised $182.5 million from a group of high profile investors and venture capital firms as part of this funding round.
At least 12 partners and investors have been part of this funding round including big entities like ICE, Boston Consulting Group, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s Venture Capital Arm and Pantera Capital. Additionally, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, PayU and the fintech arm of Naspers have also invested in the company.
On New Year’s Eve, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler noted, “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.” Loeffler affirmed that the 2018 bear market had not affected the exchanges outlook, nor its 12 prominent partners and investors outlook.
Apart from that, Bakkt is dealing with Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to get “regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin.” The firm commented, “We have filed our applications, and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.”
On this, ICE stated in a notice that the firm “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing, and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract.” Previously the firm said that it had been targeting Jan. 24, 2019 as a launch date, but that the date “will be amended pursuant to the CFTC’s process and timeline.”
According to some reports, the current government shutdown in the United States could result in the delay of the Bakkt Bitcoin futures market launch on January 24.
Initially, ICE had intentions to create an “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” powered by Microsoft cloud infrastructure, back in August. Bakkt’s pending launch is expected to bring transformation on a large scale. Also, it can turn around the downward trend in crypto markets.
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