Former Bakkt COO Adam White joins Blackstone as senior advisor

Quick Take

  • Former Bakkt president and COO Adam White has joined Blackstone as a senior advisor.
  • He will focus on the crypto strategy for the company and its portfolio companies.

Former Bakkt COO Adam White has joined investment giant Blackstone as a senior advisor focused on crypto. This continues a trend of legacy financial institutions becoming more comfortable with the asset class.

Blackstone is one of the world's largest private equity investment companies and is focused on alternative investments, such as real estate. It has $941 billion in assets under management and has previously invested in blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. 

“We are excited to welcome Adam as an advisor to Blackstone. He will help us think critically about the broader ecosystem for digital assets, including the potential areas of disruption as blockchain technology is applied to new sectors,” said Vishal Amin, a managing director at Blackstone Growth in a statement.

From 2018 to the end of 2021, White was the president and COO of bitcoin custody firm Bakkt, which was launched by Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange. While he was there, Bakkt launched a digital wallet that integrates with businesses including Starbucks. The Starbucks deal lets Bakkt users automatically sell their bitcoin to top up their Starbucks cards — indirectly buying coffee with bitcoin. 

Prior to Bakkt, White was the vice president and general manager of Coinbase. Here he developed a range of products focused on institutional traders, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier in this career, he spent five years in the US Air Force.

Blackstone starting to delve more into crypto comes in the footsteps of a big shift by BlackRock, a company that originally launched under the Blackstone umbrella. On August 4, BlackRock partnered with Coinbase to provide its own customers with access to crypto, starting with bitcoin. On August 11, BlackRock launched a private trust offering direct bitcoin exposure to its institutional clients. 

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