Bakkt Kicks Off 2019 With $182 Million in Funding for Launch of Bitcoin and Crypto Trading Platform
Bakkt has announced its first capital raise. The upcoming crypto trading platform, scheduled to launch in January, closed its first round of funding from 12 partners and investors.
The funding confirms Bitcoin’s growing interest among fintech venture capitalists, leading tech corporations and Wall Street institutions, as the new platform, founded by the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, is primarily focused on driving institutional access for digital assets, in addition to expanding merchant and consumer uses.
Participants in the first round of funding of $182.5 million included Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures, according to the company’s announcement.
Earlier this month, the target launch date was set for January 24, after a delay that revised the original date in December. However, the January date already appears as though it may be delayed due to the holiday schedule of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission which marks Monday and Tuesday as federal holidays, effectively pushing the 30-day review period forward.
In the latest update on the status of the venture, no specific launch date for Bakkt is mentioned.
“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. We have filed our applications and the timing for approval is now based on the regulatory review process.”
The company’s founder, Intercontinental Exchange, expects to provide an updated timeline in early 2019. It should detail exactly when trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) daily futures contract will begin.
The much-anticipated launch is expected to fuel institutional interest in Bakkt’s physically-settled daily futures contract to be held in Bakkt’s warehouse. The futures will be cleared by ICE Clear US, Inc. with each futures contract calling for delivery of one Bitcoin, trading in US dollar terms.
Bakkt’s ongoing collaboration with Starbucks continues.