Adam White is set to depart Bakkt, and is walking away with millions of shares

Digital asset platform Bakkt is losing its best-known executive. 

Adam White—who was Coinbase's fifth employee—announced Thursday that he is leaving the company he helped launch back in 2018.

"After a great 3+ years at Bakkt, next week will be my last," he wrote in a tweet.

"I’ve loved working at [the] intersection of crypto + markets and good to see the industry finding the balance between innovation & regulation." 

It's not clear if White is leaving for a different position in the industry. As per a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gavin Michael—Bakkt's current CEO—will "assume the additional title of President following Mr. White's separation." 

In an email to staff reviewed by The Block, Michael said "We know Adam will be keeping a close eye on Bakkt’s growth, and we feel lucky to have him as an advocate for our work and vision."


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"We’re fortunate to have a deep bench of leaders that are well positioned to help Bakkt achieve its vision of connecting the digital economy," the Australia-native added. 

A spokeswoman added: "We thank Adam for his leadership and contributions to Bakkt."

As part of White's separation agreement, he will retain 14,062,500 "incentive units" that will convert to rights to receive ~2.7 million of "Common Units of Bakkt Holdings, LLC and Class V Shares" of Bakkt after a six-month lock up period, according to the filing. 

As COO and then later president, White oversaw Bakkt's transition from an institutional-focused custody and derivatives business to a retail app that allows users to swap bitcoin, loyalty points, and other digital assets for cash. The pivot also resulted in the departure of two other institutional-focused executives earlier this year: Laura Edelman and John Conneely. Bakkt has also had three different chief executive officers since Kelly Loeffler—who founded the firm—left to serve as a Republican senator in Georgia. 

The company went public in October via a special purpose acquisition company deal with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings. It has gained more than 14% since its market debut on the New York Stock Exchange, but is down by more than 76% from its all-time highs hit in November. 

The firm is operating at a loss, reporting a net loss of $28.8 million during the third quarter.

This story has been updated from its original form to include additional information.

About Author

Frank Chaparro is Host of The Scoop podcast and Director of Special Projects. He also writes a biweekly newsletter. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].