The launch of Bakkt that was to first go live in August 2018 and then rescheduled for late January will be now coming “later this year,” according to the CEO of International Exchange (ICE), Jeff Sprecher.
Bakkt is a Moonshot Bet for ICE
During the earnings call dedicated to the financial results of ICE for quarter 4 and the entire year of 2018. Jeff Sprecher, ICE’s CEO shared that over $1 billion has been spent by the company on strategic initiatives along with the launch of its highly anticipated digital asset platform, Bakkt.
The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operates a number of leading global exchanges and is now set to enter the crypto space. Scott Hill, the CFO of the company, further talked about the expenses that will be incurred by Bakkt.
“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.”
Bakkt that according to Sprecher is independent of ICE due to the fact that it has its own office, infrastructure and management team. ICE is also putting big faith in the platform as they characterize the crypto platform as a “moonshot bet” when asked about the expected revenue growth from its recent investments along with Bakkt. Sprecher had this to say,
“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.”
Bakkt at Work: Acquisition and Hiring
Sprecher further emphasized that the infrastructure of the project had already attracted various high-profile investors. Moreover, Bakkt has acquired Rosenthal Collins Group as the official announcement reads,
“With today’s closing of our transaction with Rosenthal Collins Group, we welcome great new team members to Bakkt RCG’s remarkable heritage, culture and expertise will help us build out a trusted institutional infrastructure for digital assets.”
In addition to the acquisition, Bakkt has also hired two top executives viz. Erik Haas, the Director of Compliance who will move in from ICE and Rachel Ford as the Strategic Operations Manager from Techstars.
Bakkt has 10 positions opened in Sales, Finance, and Engineering for different locations viz. San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Tel Aviv.
Hill further shared that, Bakkt is a long term project and not just a 2019 focused program,
“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.”