Finally, all hopes of getting Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)’s institutional investment platform Bakkt can be put to rest at least till Q4 of 2019. CEO of the exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher revealed during an earnings call that the launch will be late in 2019.
Bakkt whose launch has been expected since 2018 been postponed many times into 2019. The last postponement was due to the U.S Government shutdown which affected regulatory authorities that must approve the firm before the launch. The launch was then postponed to April 2019 with the hope that issues around the shutdown will be resolved by then.
One of the biggest hindrances to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mass adoption as a whole has been lack of institutional investors due to lack of a suitable platform for investment. Bakkt was created to encourage institutional investors’ participation in the crypto industry by reducing risk by providing a safe investment environment that will not be affected by the volatility that wrecks digital assets.
Preparations have been underway to get the platform running since 2018 but the several postponements have delayed its launch, the last being to allow adequate preparation for a safe take off of trading activities in 2019. Because of its interest in institutional investors, the platform is expected to play an important role in ending the long market crash that has ravaged the industry in the last year.
Although no clear reason was given for this “later this year” announcement, it may still have to do with regulatory issues or ICE needs more time to put things together. It is, however, safe to say the scheduled April launch will not be held even if the government shutdown is resolved.
It seems the company has more work to do as it intends to spend an additional $20 million on Bakkt this year in preparation to get it ready and good to go according to the CEO. Already, it has raised $182 million as part of its initial fundraise and acquired many assets as well as have investment from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing.
The several delays can only be seen as an opportunity for the firm to prepare more towards a better user experience when it finally launches. It will not be surprising though if the launch still goes beyond 2019. However, the cryptocurrency market is eagerly looking forward to this launch as a way out the bloody cryptocurrency market and ICE will do well to hasten the process and bring into the industry the progress it hopes to produce.