The CEO of Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) upcoming cryptocurrency trading platform BAKKT stated that she has a strong desire to deliver a “revolution” in the sector in a similar way to energy trading fifteen years ago.
Kelly Loeffler spoke to Fortune regarding the news of Bakkt hiring Adam White, former Coinbase Vice president, as COO. Loeffler predicted a repeat performance of ICE’s market-making moves in the last ten years.
Set to be launched on November 2018, Bakkt has already created considerable interest since its announcement last July.
“The digital market is fragmented like the energy market in the early 2000s. ICE was the pioneer attracting more and more institutions to trade energy, which is what created today’s liquid market.”
“We’re about to see a revolution on the same scale in cryptocurrencies.”
Bakkt plans on avoiding out of favor leveraged and non-custodial trading products for its progressively broad institutional investor base, lessening some concerns from cryptocurrency industry figures that a lack of physical interaction with Bitcoin itself would ultimately damage its profile and success.
Through a blog post posted on Monday, October 15, Loeffler highlighted a suite of features and provided additional reassurance:
“These points should also eliminate misconceptions around commingling, leverage and rehypothecation, which are not features of our offering.”
Coinbase itself is also actively looking for ways to attract the institutional market, earlier this year they launched its Coinbase Pro platform and confirming it would build out its functions with new crypto-assets going forward.
ICE will now compete with offerings from Wall Street stalwarts Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, all of which have said they plan on becoming active in the trading sector.
Meanwhile, Adam White reiterated the commonly-heard narrative about the space in its current form: that institutional investor interest is real, but many are biding their time waiting for suitable support.
“…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,” White told Fortune.