Intercontinental Exchange, a global exchange operator, has revealed plans to launch a new digital asset exchange platform, Bakkt.
Alongside Intercontinental Exchange, which is the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, are a number of founding investors supporting the launch of the new company. Backers included M12, Microsoft’s venture arm, Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group.
Bakkt will leverage the Microsoft cloud solutions to build an open and regulated global ecosystem for consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets. Bakkt is working with a number of organisations, including BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks, to support the use of tokens.
The ecosystem will be comprised of federally regulated markets and warehousing, as well as merchant and consumer applications. Initially, the platform will cater to the trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies.
Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said, “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. We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”
An early component of the Bakkt solution will see Intercontinental Exchange’s US-based futures exchange and clearing house deploy a one-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract and physical warehousing. These venues will create new protocols for managing certain security and settlement requirements for digital tokens.
In addition, the clearing house is looking to launch as separate guarantee fund which will be funded by Bakkt.
Starbucks vice president, partnerships and payments Maria Smith 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.”
Earlier in the week, FinTech Global revealed Pantera Capital has pulled in up to $71m for its third flagship fund. The investment into Bakkt represents the first deal made through the new vehicle.
Bakkt is currently preparing for its launch, and more information on its operation will be released over coming weeks.
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