Bakktis building an open, seamless global network to enable buy, sell, store and spend digital assets simply, safely and efficiently.
As per the company’s announcement on Medium, they will welcomeAdam Whiteas Chief Operating Officer in November. Adam currently serves as the Vice President & General Manager for Coinbase, one of the leading Cryptocurrency exchanges and was one of the first employees when he joined in 2013. The impact he has left on Coinbase is enormous.
White will now team up with Kelly Loeffler (Chief Executive Officer at Bakkt) and the rest of the Bakkt team on the platforms’ vision to “create a transformational digital asset ecosystem.” Bakkt is a product from ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.
As we currently are in a Bear market Adam says that the recent market trends give the false impression that investor interest in cryptocurrencies is waning, when in fact institutions are hungrier than ever. Since last December, Bitcoin’s price has dropped from $19,000 to $6,200, and the total market value of all digital currencies has shrunk by 70% to roughly $200 billion. Far too often the public looks at price and market size to determine the progress in digital currencies, Instead, White looks at what he considers the fundamentals, trading volumes, and progress in technology. He says,
“Cryptocurrency markets go their own way, we see bull and bear markets,” But what matters is that the number of daily transactions for all cryptocurrencies is up year over year. And we’re also seeing the introduction of new protocols from open source software developers that make cryptocurrencies far easier to use.”
Speaking with Fortune in an interview, White said he switched sides because Wall Street was ready to sell digital assets to the masses but the infrastructure is currently lacking on the existing digital asset platforms.
“The interest in Bitcoin and other currencies started changing from retail to the institutional side. But the level of infrastructure of the existing trading sites often didn’t meet their expectations. That’s why they’re waiting on the sidelines.”
This is a strong move from the Old School finance (ICE) which intends to transform cryptocurrencies into digital tokens that are more liquid and can be traded on regulated exchanges globally. Up until now, cryptocurrency trading has been dominated by exchanges that focus primarily on retail investors. Whereas, this will attract Institutional investors.
The launch of Bakkt is expected to move institutional traders, many of whom are still sitting on the fence, where crypto is concerned. The platform has an edge over popular exchanges like Coinbase, as it promises to trade on a federally regulated exchange. As well as clearing and custody services for cryptos with the safeguards similar to what is applicable to physical stock exchanges.
Kelly Loeffler offers an example of how regulatory clarity supported growth in the global oil markets. She says that In 2002, Intercontinental Exchange listed only a handful of oil contracts — and today, it offers over 500 oil contracts. At the same time, the oil market went from inconsistent regulation in bilateral, opaque and fragmented OTC trading to a regulated futures market that was transparent and liquid — and many times larger and more useful for commercial hedgers and traders. The market grew alongside the application of the regulation.
That’s why we believe the sooner a regulatory approach to digital assets is determined, the better positioned we are to support healthy markets and innovation within a dynamic global marketplace.