Bakkt promotes chief product officer Mike Blandina to CEO 

Quick Take

  • Bakkt has named a new CEO to succeed Kelly Loeffler
  • The firm has promoted its chief product officer, Mike Blandina, to CEO
  • Jeffrey Sprecher, founder, chairman and CEO of ICE, said: “As CEO, Mike will chart Bakkt’s strategic direction, payment products and markets”

Bakkt, a bitcoin-focused subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has promoted its chief product officer Mike Blandina to chief executive officer (CEO).

Blandina has succeeded Kelly Loeffler, who was officially appointed to the U.S. Senate earlier this month by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Blandina assumed the new role on Dec. 20. 

“As CEO, Mike will chart Bakkt’s strategic direction, payment products and markets, as well as overseeing the regulatory and financial performance of the company," said Jeffrey Sprecher, founder, chairman and CEO of ICE.

Blandina joined Bakkt earlier this year, following leadership roles at PayPal, Google and other firms.

Adam White, Bakkt’s chief operating officer (COO), has been named president. White, a former Coinbase executive, was anticipated to take on Loeffler’s role by market observers.  In his new role, White "will focus on digital asset markets, custody and trading, as well as Bakkt’s strategic direction," said Sprecher. 

During Loeffler's tenure, Bakkt rolled out physically-settled and cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts, as well as bitcoin options. Loeffler worked for ICE for almost 16 years, alongside Sprecher, who’s also her husband. She then joined Bakkt last year as CEO. Now she is ready to serve Georgia as a U.S. Senator starting January 2020.

Bakkt more recently also ventured into the custody business, as well as announced its plans to launch a cryptocurrency consumer app and merchant portal in the first half of 2020. Starbucks will be a launch partner when the app goes live.

In Monday's announcement, Bakkt said it set a new volume record of 6,226 physically delivered bitcoin futures contracts, an increase of over 25% from its previous record. "Bakkt plans to build on this momentum in 2020 with a product road map including new trading products, an expanded custody offering, an innovative consumer payments app, along with additional innovations to be announced," said the firm. 

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