Bakkt scores $182.5M in funding to drive institutional and merchant adoption in crypto

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency venture by Intercontinental Exchange, has scored $182.5 million to build out its platform aimed at driving institutional and merchant adoption in crypto. The firm, which is led by CEO Kelly Loeffler, made the announcement in a Medium post on New Year's Eve. "We’ll share details as the New Year unfolds, but as our COO Adam White and I work through Bakkt’s 2019 objectives, we are focused on opportunities to provide new infrastructure, including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage," Loeffler wrote.

Bakkt originally was preparing to launch a new futures market for bitcoin at the end of 2018, but that has been pushed back due to regulatory hurdles, sources familiar with the situation have told The Block. Bakkt confirmed earlier reporting that the launch date would no longer be January 24, according to a notice on ICE's website. The firm plans to provide an updated launch date in early 2019. 

"Our team has been working closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the better part of 2018. At an industry level, regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin will establish and amplify the voice of U.S. authorities as the digital asset market evolves globally," Loeffler said of the firm's cooperation with the CFTC, which regulates futures markets. As for the investors, the firm is being backed by Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, and other top-notch investors.