Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler has been appointed as a senator of Georgia by Governor Brian Kemp, despite President Trump advising otherwise.
Following her appointment, Loeffler will become the second female senator for the state of Georgia in US history.
Owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which runs the New York Stock Exchange, Bakkt is one of the first regulated markets for digital assets aimed at institutional investors.
Bakkt’s platform initially got off to a slow start following its launch earlier this year. However, recent anticipation for its new BTC options contracts has elevated volume of Bitcoin futures on the exchange to new highs.
Two months after their debut, Bakkt Bitcoin Futures reached a record high of 4,443 contracts traded today – up over 60% from our last record-setting day
We look forward to building on this momentum as we approach the launch of the Bakkt Bitcoin Options contracts on Dec 9th
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) November 27, 2019
Bakkt has also recently announced the launch of its digital asset custody solutions for institutional clients.
Controversy among Trump’s allies
US President Donald Trump originally suggested that Doug Collins be appointed as senator, a former serviceman and pastor who has recently fought against calls for Trump’s impeachment.
However, Governor Brian Kemp seemingly chose to ignore this advice and appointed Loeffler, who applied for the position on its closing day.
Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida took to Twitter to criticise the move:
You are ignoring his request because you THINK you know better than @POTUS.
If you substitute your judgement for the President’s, maybe you need a primary in 2022. Let’s see if you can win one w/o Trump https://t.co/vtjT4CyLMI
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 29, 2019
Some members of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have accused Loeffler of buying her way into the position, given her unique role within ICE and Bakkt.
The committee cited Loeffler’s donations to both parties in a bid to become a senator, and called the appointment a “corrupt coronation“.
Loeffler holds strongly conservative views on critical issues close to Trump such as immigration and gun control, which may eventually win her favour among other Republicans.
Positive news for crypto?
As CEO of the Bakkt digital asset trading platform, Loeffler is a vocal advocate of digital assets, sharing earlier this year that she believes blockchain’s digital revolution is just getting started and the technology is yet to reach its “full potential”.
In September, Loeffler described Bakkt’s launch as a “milestone for the industry” and an important step in providing trusted infrastructure for digital assets.
It’s unclear how Loeffler will divide her time between Bakkt and her new political career.