Bakkt, the cryptocurrency ecosystem created by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is primarily meant to facilitate mainstream adoption, according to an update on the Bakkt Twitter page. This according to the update will be achieved by enabling transaction efficiency between consumers and merchants.
Our vision is to bring digital assets into the mainstream by enabling efficient transactions between consumers and merchants
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) January 15, 2019
The cryptocurrency platform launch which was scheduled for January 24 has been postponed due to legal and regulatory reasons. Prior to the recent postponement, the launch had been postponed twice last year, the last schedule implying for December 12, 2018.
Majorly, the delay of the launch is due to the US Government shutdown which failed. Since the launch must be approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), it cannot go on until the government systems are back in shape. The launch has been postponed to April 2019 although no precise date has been given.
A Chinese billionaire by the name of Li had invested in the project in anticipation of the launch, completing the projects first funding round. By the end of 2018, Bakkt had raised up to $180 million. Apart from Li, Bakkt also brought in institutional investors such as Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12 and Naspers’ fintech firm. Confirming this, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler said:
“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’.”
The incessant postponements are of concern not just to the cryptocurrency industry but also to ICE as Bakkt was supposed to launch as a new territory for ICE at a time when a formidable competitor, the new exchange MEMX is coming into the futures market, largely to overturn ICE.
For the cryptocurrency industry, Bakkt is supposed to encourage mainstream adoption which is expected to drive institutional investors to the industry. With the postponement, however, the industry will have to wait until the government gives its approval.
The cryptocurrency market had started improving just a few days ago but with the recent postponement, there is another dip that just started today. Among the top ten cryptocurrencies, only EOS is in green at the time of writing this article.
Bakkt launch will certainly promote the cryptocurrency industry as it also intends to “build the first integrated, institutional grade exchange-traded markets and custody solution for physical delivery of digital assets”, as tweeted earlier today. Will the delay worsen the market condition before it is finally done?