Institutional Cryptoasset Trading Platform Bakkt Makes First Acquisition

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The intercontinental exchange’s much anticipated new cryptocurrency trading venture, Bakkt, announced (Jan 14) that it has made its first acquisition in support of its mission to become to the go-to crypto on-ramp for institutional investors, and to create a regulated cryptocurrency ecosystem for consumers and merchants.

Bakkt Expands Risk Management, Compliance, and Treasury Operations

Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, announced the acquisition on the company’s medium blog on January 14, that will allow to Bakkt purchase specific assets from Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG).

Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) is a futures and options commodities brokerage firm based in Chicago. In December, the firm had sold its customer business to futures broker Marex Spectron whilst Bakkt eyed the company’s risk management, compliance, and treasury management assets.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in February, will help Bakkt to improve its risk management and treasury operations, as well as develop its know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) capabilities, and enhance its customer service offering.

Loeffler concluded the announcement by saying: “Our vision is to bring digital assets into the mainstream by enabling efficient transactions between consumers and merchants. […] While DLT and cryptocurrencies are early in their development, we are committed to expanding the use of this technology to promote choice by building a fair, efficient platform for digital assets globally.”

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Acquisition Announcement Follows Successful Fundraising

As BTCManager reported on January 2, Bakkt managed to raise $182.5 million from twelve investors, including ICE, Microsoft, BCG, Pantera Capital, and Galaxy Digital, during its first funding round.

In the same announcement, Loeffler highlighted the company’s efforts in working closely with the U.S Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to get their planned bitcoin futures trading operation approved as soon as possible, also accentuating that customer onboarding has been progressing nicely, suggesting that there is genuine interest in bitcoin futures trading among institutional investors.

“Clearing firms and customers have continued to join us as we work toward CFTC approval. We made great progress in December, and we’ll continue to onboard customers as we await the ‘green light,’” she stated.

Why Bakkt Matters

The announcement by ICE to launch Bakkt in partnership with BCG, Starbucks, and Microsoft is a milestone for cryptocurrency adoption.

Not only does the planned institutional investor on-ramp for bitcoin trading have the potential to introduce billions of institutional money to bitcoin and other digital assets, but perhaps more importantly, the development of a crypto-powered consumer and merchant ecosystem could see real-world bitcoin adoption skyrocket in the US. This, in turn, could help bitcoin to succeed as a real currency and not just as an investment asset.