Bakkt, the name given to the crypto investment platform developed by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) parent company ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) is finally ready to go live. Bakkt has been in development for over a year now and has had its launch date delayed several times already. The platform will allow large-scale institutional investors to buy and trade Bitcoin in a safe and regulated environment – something that has been very difficult up until now.
The majority of investors in cryptocurrency currently consist of retail investors: average citizens and small-scale businesses. While some of these retail investors (referred to as Whales), do represent massive amounts of money, a genuine large-scale institutional investment could bring an exponentially larger amount of capital into the market. Due to the legal and regulatory complexities surrounding cryptocurrency investment, most institutional investment firms have not been able to enter the market until a product like Bakkt has been made available. With the backing of the Intercontinental Exchange and support from companies offering previously unavailable custodial services for cryptocurrencies, large organizations now have the option to invest in Bitcoin while still adhering to legal requirements.
The move means Bitcoin and fellow cryptocurrencies could see a huge boost in adoption and value. There are already several large organizations, including Starbucks and Microsoft, that have expressed interest in using Bakkt to expand their investment portfolios and client services. The association with these well-established industry leaders will undoubtedly thrust cryptocurrencies even further into the spotlight, providing an additional layer of trust and accreditation to the sector.
Following approval from the New York Financial Services Department this past Friday for Bakkt to hold investors digital assets, the company is now ready to announce a launch date. This date has been tentatively set for September 23 – although previous ‘launch dates’ have been delayed repeatedly, making crypto enthusiasts understandably skeptical.
Initially, Bakkt will be focused purely on offering a Bitcoin Futures product, which will entail Bakkt providing an index for trading while taking responsibility for securing clients digital assets.
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) is up 2.3 percent in the past 24 hours following news of the development but continues to trade down over the week. Despite a minor recovery of late, the coin is still down considerably since its yearly high of $13,649 in late June a few months ago. The sudden rally to almost $14,000 followed months of trading in the $3,000 to $4,000 range in early 2019 before an early May rally instigated the largest bull run since December 2017.