Bakkt “a bit of a moonshot bet”, says ICE CEO

It has been organised in a manner that is very different than the way ICE typically does businesses, he adds

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) says that its Bakkt digital assets platform is on track to launch later this year.

During an earnings call, CFO Scott Hill, commented that investment in the venture “will generate $20 million to $25 million of expense based upon the run rate in the first quarter. We will update you on progress and the level of investment as we move through the year.”

ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher, meanwhile, talked of a “unique structure…we’ve actually set it up as a separate company with a separate name, its own management team and separate capitalisation. So right now ICE is the majority investor in the company, I expect that we’ll do other rounds of financing. We’ll make a decision as it goes forward whether we stay majority or allow it to spin three of us.”

“We believe that what ICE has if you step back and look at us is, we have obviously trading clearing. We have settlement capabilities, warehouse and custody management capabilities, large treasury operations, banking connectivity and a global infrastructure that is in many, many jurisdictions – regulatory distinctions around the world with a massive cyber overlay,” he continued.

This set up has attracted “a lot of very, very interesting companies…some that have invested in Bakkt, some are just working with it to try to tap into that infrastructure for some new use cases that will involve blockchain and digital assets and other things that we can provide these people. Obviously, we’ve announced our work with Starbucks and Microsoft. We have very, very large retail franchises global connectivity to end users that we hope will be brought into that ecosystem and could create a very, very valuable company out of that initiative if our business plan plays out.”

He went on to label the venture “a bit of a moonshot bet…So we’ll see how it goes.”

RCG announcement

Bakkt has closed its first acquisition, it announced in a tweet dated 8th February.

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