One of the reasons, Bitcoin ETF has been facing rejection in hands of SEC is that bitcoin is being traded on unregulated exchanges. Well, this could soon change as Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)—the trading goliath that owns the New York Stock Exchange and other global marketplaces is planning to federally regulated ecosystem for Bitcoin.
ICE envisions to make Bitcoin into a trusted global currency
Intercontinental Exchange in an early morning announcement spoke of starting a new company that would be called as Bakkt. The new venture, which is expected to launch in November, will work towards offering a federally regulated ecosystem for Bitcoin. With the creation of Bakkt, ICE aims to transform Bitcoin into a trusted global currency with broad usage and also will be to make Bitcoin a sound and secure offering for key constituents that now mostly shun it- the world’s big financial institutions. The goal and strategy for the leadership team of Bakkt are clear, to offer an ecosystem for bitcoin which clear the way for major money managers to offer Bitcoin mutual funds, pension funds, and ETFs, as highly regulated, mainstream investments.
ICE, in order to make its vision a reality, has partnered with strong and heavyweights brands from the worlds of technology, consulting, and retail: Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Starbucks. Apart from these four, the group would also include Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, and Susquehanna International Group providing their expertise and strength to the venture.
“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, ICE’s head of digital assets, who will serve as CEO of Bakkt, in the press release announcing the launch.
“We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”
With the presence of Starbucks and Microsoft on board, Bakkt would strive to transform the way consumers pay at the mall and online. Also Microsoft, through its Azure cloud business, that servers huge base of retailers handling back-office tasks from invoice processing to e-commerce companies, may provide the additional backhand support to Bitcoin-based payments as well.
ICE, a strong exchange leader that can turn Bitcoin on its head
Today ICE is the world’s second largest owner of financial exchanges by revenue behind the CME, and one of the largest purveyors of market data. It builds, operates and advances global financial and commodity markets. Today ICE is a Fortune 500 company that connects the largest community of participants in all major markets at key phases of the investing, trading, hedging and capital raising lifecycle. Its comprehensive markets, clearing houses, and data solutions mean that it can uniquely deliver more mission-critical markets, risk management, and data for its customers than any other exchange operator in the world.
With ICE getting into the game, it could be expected that Bitcoin would definitely be soon trading on a federally regulated exchange in par with other stocks. This will also open chances for an ETF getting an approval sooner than later. Finally, the institutional monies get the news it wants to drift a part of its funds to crypto.
Will ICE be successful in making BTC an asset class worth investing just like other instruments? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Nilesh Maurya has been associated for past 8 years as an Investment Banker with Omega Capital, a bespoke Investment Banking outfit having offices in Mumbai, New York, Singapore, and Dubai. He has been a regular contributor to business publications such as Business India and Market Express and has been a mentor to many start-up companies. Follow him on Twitter at @KoinKing1 or connect with me on linkedin.