There are many who have maintained that the next cryptocurrency bull run will be one where institutional money is involved, and many have suggested that this will not happen until the entire cryptocurrency is properly regulated.
We know that institutional money is more interested than ever, as evidenced by the fact that Fidelity Investments, a major player in global finance and one of the largest asset managers in the world, is interested in entering the space.
Bakkt Set to Enter the Crypto Market
Enter Bakkt — a venture that is set to launch by The Intercontinental Exchange, along with some influential business partners such as Microsoft and Starbucks.
For those unaware, the Intercontinental Exchange is the parent company of none other than the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange, with a market capitalization exceeding $20 trillion dollars.
Bakkt is aiming to be a global network for trading and settling digital assets, and its partners suggest that it might be looking to enter the retail sector, as well.
When it comes to institutional money, many believe that the launch of Bakkt will be the catalyst that the cryptocurrency community has been waiting for.
What Impact Could Bakkt Have?
Tom Lee of Fundstrat believes that the Bakkt launch could be a catalyst that leads Bitcoin price higher for the rest of 2018, and he isn’t the only one. He pointed out that it certainly felt as though Bitcoin had reached a solid bottom, as it has held above the key $6000 level as support.
In Lee’s opinion, Bakkt’s entrance into the market could reverse the downward pressure on Bitcoin price.
In addition to the fact that the Bakkt platform will provide regulatory compliance for digital assets, the company also announced in a tweet that they will be launching Bitcoin futures, as well.
Our first contracts will be physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts versus fiat currencies, including USD, GBP and EUR. For example, buying one USD/BTC futures contract will result in daily delivery of one Bitcoin into the customer’s account.
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) September 25, 2018
The tweet went viral beyond the cryptocurrency community, garnering thousands of retweets and likes.
The CEO of Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, recently announced that Coinbase employee #5, Adam White is joining the company as Chief Operating Officer. Considering that Coinbase is arguably one of the most successful companies in the cryptocurrency world, with a reported $8 billion valuation, this is a good sign of confidence in Bakkt.
Loeffler herself is bullish about the long-term future of cryptocurrency. In an interview with Fortune, she likened the cryptocurrency markets to the oil markets, where Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) was a major player in terms of providing liquidity to the market.
Specifically, she stated that “the market grew alongside regulation” and “we are about to see a revolution on the same scale in cryptocurrencies.”
Interestingly enough, former chairman of the CFTC, Gary Gensler, has echoed similar statements, telling Bloomberg that cryptocurrencies needs more regulation than oil. He also recognized the importance of remaining “technology-neutral” to spur innovation, as well.
In a Medium post, Loeffler stated that Bakkt will be launching in November, and that she expected to receive approval for Bakkt from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the same month.
It is clear that Bakkt plans on being the go-to platform for various financial institutions to trade cryptocurrency securely, and it certainly could be the catalyst for the next large cryptocurrency bull run. But of course, this will depend on many factors.
There are many who believe that Bakkt is laying the groundwork for the first bitcoin ETF in the United States, which is a formidable task, considering that the SEC has rejected every bitcoin ETF proposal so far.