The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the entity that owns the much-anticipated institutional investment firm Bakkt, has confirmed that the service will launch in late 2019, after multiple delays. The news, revealed during an earnings call which involved CEO Jeffrey Sprecher, was first reported by Toshi Times.
Bakkt was initially expected to launch in late 2018, but the launch was pushed back to early 2019, and then postponed again to what investors would now hope is the confirmed date for its launch. The firm was awaiting approval from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The arrival of Bakkt, investors hoped, would signal a new era in crypto investments that would usher in a large amount of institutional funds – which both PwC and Morgan Stanley believe will rise in 2019. In the run-up to the previously expected launch date of early 2019, Bakkt revealed details regarding their BTC Futures contract.
Revenue expectations for Bakkt are positive, with Chief Financial Officer Scott Hill saying,
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, which has an independent team, is a long-term project that Sprecher has described as a “moonshot” (a term popular among crypto investors).
Bakkt Making Moves to Entrench Itself in the Market
Earlier this week, ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher said that he expects Bakkt to contribute to ICE’s revenue when launched. This is in part because Bakkt is collaborating extensively with several entities, either as an investment source or in a bid to find new blockchain-based solutions. Sprecher said,
That infrastructure has attracted a lot of very, very interesting companies that have come, some that have invested in Bakkt, some are just working with Bakkt, to try to tap into that infrastructure for some new use cases that will involve blockchain and digital assets.
Indeed, Bakkt recently raised $182 million in a round of funding and acquired assets from the Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), moves that indicate a busy year is ahead for the firm. ICE plans to spend over $20 million on Bakkt this year, and a whopping $1 billion or so has been spent on funding initiatives, so the investment rounds will come in handy as Bakkt attempts to rope in a wide range of investors.
Bakkt’s launch is highly anticipated, with investors hoping that it would pull the market out of its bear run. With investors such as Microsoft and Starbucks, the expectation from Bakkt is high, and it’s understandable that the several delays have left crypto-enthusiasts disappointed.