Monday, March 16, 2020

Bakkt closed a $300 million Series B fundraising round. The round was led by Microsoft’s M12, Pantera Capital. PayU and other prominent companies. #Bitcoin #XRP

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, has undergone series B funding. This was to the tune of $300 million. Sources say that the exchange involved many partners. Intercontinental Exchanges (ICE), which is Bakkt’s parent company, Microsoft‘s M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, CMT Digital, Boston Consulting Group, and Goldfinch Partners were among those who supported Bakkt.

New Acquisition Improves Prospects, Bakkt App to Come This Summer
Bakkt also acquired Bridge2 Solutions, a customer loyalty services company. A mobile app aimed at retail clients is in the offing as well. Already, Jeffrey Sprecher indicated in an earnings call that Bakkt could be entering the way over $1 trillion in assets following the acquisition.

Sources say that CEO Mike Blandina stated:

“I’m excited at our potential to unlock nearly $1 trillion of digital assets when the Bakkt app launches this summer. With the completion of our Series B financing and the recent acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, Bakkt is now a team of 350 employees and powers the loyalty redemption programs for seven of the top 10 financial institutions and over 4,500 loyalty and incentive programs including two of the largest U.S. airlines.”

Concerning the Bakkt mobile app, Blandina said:

“Digital assets have been around for decades, and we all have way more value there than we realize. We’re laser-focused on getting consumers to access to that value and making it as easy to spend as if it were cash,”

This puts Bakkt in the same vicinity of Square headed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey when it comes to mobile access to Bitcoin.

While Bakkt had been hailed by many as the harbinger of adoption, others have also considered the emergence of competitors such as CME Bitcoin futures.

This was also a welcome development as per competition in the crypto space. CME Bitcoin futures in January overtook Bakkt in a debut trading volume of about $2 million.

This is a far cry from the all-time-high of $20 million in November and a weekly-trading volume of $124 million in December.

It also raises the prospects of adoption. The mobile app will bring the power of all the data and partnerships that Bridge2 Solutions offers.

Will Bakkt Bring Us Closer to Cryptocurrency Adoption?

It also brings the big question closer to home: When will massive Bitcoin adoption occur? Many analysts within the crypto space believe that hybrid models such as Bakkt present the best use-case for adoption. Negative attitudes haven’t affected the trading volume of the exchange, however.

In the long- term we shall see a shift from traditional use-cases scenarios to regular ones where cryptocurrencies are concerned.
Bakkt has been gaining momentum in recent times. The idea of physically settled contracts once it catches on will most likely be the preferred method of adoption. This is what all bitcoin HODLers prefer: money in their control. For now, though, it is an exciting ride for those within the crypto space involved with Bakkt.

Microsoft is part owner of the crypto-currency exchange Bakkt. Bakkt just received more funding. They'll probably tell us cash is invented with the coronavirus. Get ready for a world currency.

The chairman of the Bakkt exchange is .....
Jeffrey Craig Sprecher (born February 23, 1955) is an American businessman, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

His company Bakkt Exchange will be 1037 weeks old on Nancy Pelosis birthday 3/3 Jewish calendar...
From and including: Thursday, May 11, 2000
To, but not including Thursday, March 26, 2020
1037 weeks
1988.77% of a common year (365 days)
Get ready for a new currency cover 1988

From and including: Friday, January 9, 1998
To and including: Thursday, May 11, 2000
122 weeks
"Intercontinental Exchange" = 116 (Full Reduction)
"two hundred and twenty three" = 116 (Full Reduction)
Jeffrey Craig Sprecher (born February 23

"Jeffrey Craig Sprecher" = 115 (Full Reduction)

Bakkt established Bakkt Trust Company which received a charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on August 16, 2019. The NYDFS "has authorized Bakkt to provide custody services for bitcoin in conjunction with the launch of physically delivered bitcoin futures contracts. Bakkt will serve institutional customers; its bitcoin futures contracts will be listed for trading on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures US and cleared through ICE Clear US."[14] Bakkt refers to this service as Bakkt Warehouse.

According to a September 9, 2019 Tweet from Bakkt, "Bitcoin deposited at our Warehouse is protected by a $125 million insurance policy."[15]

Bakkt's license from the New York Department of Financial Services was later expanded to allow it to provide services to "institutional" clients, according to a blog post by Bakkt COO Adam White on November 11, 2019.[16] On November 19, Galaxy Digital announced that it would use Bakkt as a custodian for its two new bitcoin investment funds.[17]

"Bakkt futures"
On August 16, 2019, Loeffler announced on Bakkt's blog that ICE Futures US's physically-delivered bitcoin futures, commonly referred to as "Bakkt futures," would launch trading on September 23, 2019.[18] Bakkt Warehouse executes the final deliveries on ICE Futures US's daily and monthly bitcoin futures. Priced in U.S. dollars, each futures contract is for one bitcoin. After the end of trading in a futures contract, ICE Clear US, which clears the futures contracts, matches buyers and sellers with open positions and provides delivery instructions to Bakkt. The market participants who are the beneficial owners of those positions must have accounts at Bakkt in order to receive or pay bitcoin.[19]

On September 23, 2019, Bakkt futures launched.[20][21] Bakkt futures initially saw low daily trading volumes. In its first week of trading, only 623 bitcoin futures contracts - each of which represents a single bitcoin - were traded, amounting to just $5 million worth of the asset. Dave Weisberger, CEO of CoinRoutes, said that it was too early to write off Bakkt, because it takes time for traders to migrate between platforms, saying, "these things tend to develop slowly."[22]In October, ICE filed three certifications with the CFTC for programs to enhance trading volumes: liquidity provider program, market maker program and delivery provider program. Neither the incentives provided by the exchange nor the requirements on traders to qualify for payments were made public.[23] ICE's trading volume in its physically-settled monthly bitcoin futures contracts spiked, rising from the futures contract equivalent of $690,000 on October 22 to the futures contract equivalent of $4.81 million on October 23.[24] The contract volume hit a record high to date of 1,756 contracts on November 8, 2019.[25]

ICE launched options on its Bakkt futures on December 9, 2019. The European-style options expire two days prior to the last trading day of the futures contract.[26] Bakkt announced that same day that ICE Futures Singapore, an electronic futures market based in Singapore which operates separately from ICE Futures US, had launched trading in cash settled bitcoin futures based on ICE Futures US settlement prices.[27]

Bakkt app
Bakkt Chief Product Officer Mike Blandina wrote in a blog post on October 28 that the company would introduce a consumer app in 2020 that would allow customers to make easy payments from their mobile devices. The first retailer to allow its customers to use the app for purchases will be Starbucks.[28]

Loyalty points platform
In February 2020, ICE announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, a company that manages loyalty and rewards points platforms for numerous companies. ICE said Bakkt would acquire Bridge2 Solutions from ICE after Bakkt had completed its Series B fundraising later in the first quarter of 2020.[29]

Bridge2 plans to build an app that would take advantage of its existing network of merchants by allowing those merchants to opt into plugging their payment processes directly into the Bakkt app instead of going through financial institutions to process payments. Bakkt would charge a fee, Fortune reported, but it would be lower than the 2.5 percent interchange fee charged by most banks. The Bridge2-developed app would also allow users to convert their unused rewards and loyalty points from the platforms Bridge2 already manages into cash or bitcoin.[30][31]

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