NYSE Parent Firm Intercontinental Exchange Forms New Company For Cryptocurrencies

Announcements, News | August 6, 2018 By:

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is planning to form a new company that will leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for cryptocurrencies.

Dubbed Bakkt, the new company will be working with BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks, and others to create a blockchain platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend cryptocurrencies on a seamless global network. The platform will initially be used for trading and conversion of bitcoin versus fiat currencies.

“Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security and utility,” said Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt. “We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”

As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, ICE is also planning to launch “a 1-day physically delivered bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing. If the offering receives the approval of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), it will begin trading in November of this year.

“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,” said Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks. “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”

In addition to ICE and Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12, investors in Bakkt are expected to include, among others, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.