The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which owns the New York Stock Exchange, announced the formation of a new company–Bakkt–to help launch a federally-related market for cryptocurrencies and gain more acceptance for use in retail business transactions. If this platform proves successful, its technology could make way for the formation of cryptocurrency funds like 401(k) retirement plans.
Breaking into these areas of the capital markets like retirement accounts is certainly an ambitious goal for Bakkt since Bitcoin is still attempting to gain worldwide acceptance as a form of currency accepted by businesses for commercial transactions. News regarding cryptocurrency exchange hackings and other security issues are stymieing any efforts to bring Bitcoin, or any form of digital currency, to mainstream acceptance.
“Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security and utility,” said Kelly Loeffler, the chief executive officer of Bakkt who was until recently head of communications at ICE. “We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”
ICE hopes to change that perception with the introduction of a one-day futures contract that differentiates itself from derivatives offered by U.S. competitors CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. because it’s physically delivered. Contract owners will receive Bitcoin upon expiration as opposed to cash–this aspect of physical delivery could help Bitcoin can help gain more acceptance by financial institutions who are wary of the unregulated markets where Bitcoin currently trades.