Bakkt and ICE CEOs Discuss Bakkt Platform’s Slated Launch

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The CEO of digital assets platform Bakkt has recently disclosed plans of launching what it touts to be world’s first 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract, set to be rolled out next year.

During a recent conference, MIT Media Lab held an interview with Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Chairman Jeff Sprecher, which was broadcasted via the “Inside the ICE House” podcast on December 14.

As discussed during the podcast, the two CEO’s held an in-depth discussion on the slated launch of the Bakkt platform, including what sets it apart from similar pre-existing products, and the impetus behind limiting its focus on Bitcoin alone. The platform, according to Loeffler was developed in an effort to provide both institutions and individual consumers a more streamlined process of purchasing, selling, storing, and spending Bitcoin.

The interview kicked off with a question on whether or not price matters. According to Loeffler, the price of digital assets hold a very minimal impact on its utility. Musing about the future of crypto amid the year-long bear market, Loeffler went on stating:

“When I think about what we’re doing at Bakkt what our peers in this space are doing, what all of you in this room are doing, I think about the headline’s today, ‘Will Digital Assets Survive?’ and I’d say the unequivocal answer is ‘yes’.”

According to the two CEOs, the primary focus of Bakkt is to provide Bitcoin a fully-regulated price discovery, a feat no other crypto platforms has so far achieved.

Explaining the platform, Sprecher stated:

“We develop systems where there can be transparent and competent price discovery.”

As Loeffler additionally stressed, institutions require a level of certainty before entering the crypto sphere. To that end, the company is striving to provide a Federal-level regulatory-compliant platform, an objective that Bakkt aims to achieve in its upcoming launch.

Furthermore, the platform will also provide a price discovery method free from manipulation. As it stands, Bitcoin is the only crypto classified by the US government as a commodity, positioning it as an ideal digital asset to be offered to institutions through a regulatory compliant platform.

Discussing what sets Bakkt platform apart from the rest of the other existing crypto exchanges in the market, Loeffler went on explaining:

“At ICE, we’re the largest exchange operator in the world, we operate a dozen exchanges across US, Europe, Asia, Canada, clearing houses. So, we’re connected institutionally around the world to the largest traders of all asset classes.”

Furthermore, Sprecher noted that the platform will be using a proprietary clearinghouse to minimize leverage risk as everything will be pre-funded. By applying the same rules implemented by the US government, the company hopes to gain regulatory approval and in turn further lend credibility to the Bakkt platform.

In an effort to promote real-world use of digital assets, ICE has also previously inked a partnership with Starbucks to integrate the Bakkt platform, in addition to other major firms that have also expressed interest in collaborating with Bakkt.

As Loeffler noted:

“Since that announcement we’ve heard from others that want to do that.”