Bakkt Founder ‘Nervous’ About Monday’s Launch, Says Intense Curiosity Must Turn Into Demand
The CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt, says he and his team are nervous about Monday’s launch.
In a new interview with Fortune, Jeff Sprecher says Bakkt has experienced a flood of curiosity on the company’s imminent launch of BTC futures that will be settled in actual Bitcoin instead of cash.
He believes it could take months before it’s clear if Wall Street is diving in.
“It’s not demand yet. It’s intense curiosity. It’s the sense that money managers want to be at the front of this train and not left out.
The day-to-day news covers Bitcoin when the price goes way up or way down, but underneath we see sophisticated people investing in infrastructure and compliance that’s unrelated to the price. But they won’t use that infrastructure. There won’t be true global acceptance until we can build out the rails in a regulated manner.”
Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler says she expects retail brokers, college endowments and pension funds to be among the first takers.
“The brokers are always looking for an edge to attract new customers, and offering Bitcoin could have lots of appeal. [College endowments and pension funds] are the ones who are usually in the forefront in adopting new investment ideas.”
Bakkt successfully beat its last regulatory hurdle last month, when the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) approved the operation of its crypto custody warehouse.
Bakkt opened the warehouse about two weeks ago, allowing customers to deposit and withdraw Bitcoin.
The warehouse is insured by a $125-million protection policy. ICE says Bakkt will use the same cyber-security systems that fortify the New York Stock Exchange, and all Bitcoin held in the warehouse will be locked in cold storage and disconnected from the internet.