NYSE Parent, ICE’s much-hyped cryptocurrency derivatives platform, Bakkt is expected to get launched later this year. The comments were made by ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher during the earnings call for fiscal 2018 on Feb. 7th.
ICE had announced the arrival of new physically-backed Bitcoin derivatives platform last year in August 2018 and was scheduled for launch in December last year, when it was postponed to January this year. The ongoing crypto market slowdown is the main reason for delay in the launch.
In the earnings call, Sprecher explained that the company has made over $1 billion strategic investments including in the digital asset platform. On investments on Bakkt platform, he said:
“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.”
Sprecher further characterized the investments in the crypto platform as “Moonshot Bet”.
“So it’s a bit of a moonshot bet and it’s been organized in a manner that is very different than the way ICE typically does businesses […] They’re well along in building out an infrastructure that I think you’ll see launch later this year.”
ICE’s Bakkt platform is functioning independently from its parent with its own management team, offices and infrastructure. The project has already attracted a number of high-profile investors like Starbucks and Microsoft.
“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.
Obviously, we’ve announced our work with Starbucks and Microsoft. We have very, very large retail franchises…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.”
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