If you have been following the crypto sphere in the last few days, you have undoubtedly heard the announcement of Bakkt, a start-up venture by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Operating 23 regulated exchanges and marketplaces, including the New York Stock Exchange, ICE is a true giant of traditional finance and has teamed up with such global brands as Microsoft, BCG, and Starbucks on the new project.
Bakkt, which is scheduled for the launch in November, has reportedly been stealthily developed for the past 14 months and will “create an open and regulated global ecosystem for digital assets.” According to Kelly Loeffler, CEO of the new platform, Bakkt will create a digital asset warehouse for both “consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.“
Essentially, both institutional and regular consumers will be involved in Bakkt and this is even better news for the market than bitcoin futures, said the regular CNBC crypto commentator Brian Kelly, who claimed that, “The problem with Bitcoin futures is that there are a very limited set of people that can trade it… And a lot of people use it for hedging.”
However, with such retail giants as Starbucks accepting payments in crypto, the mainstream adoption seems closer than ever before as “Starbucks is going to allow you to take your crypto and effectively load a US Dollar card with this. […] If you look at Starbucks history, they are really at the forefront of digital payments particularly the retail space. So to have them involved is more of a signal that this is becoming more of a mainstream.“
According to Kelly, this is a huge step towards involving a large portion of the general public in crypto, as “They are talking about getting this into your 401k. They are talking about getting it into your Schwab, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade account. You are going to be able to buy a Bitcoin ETF, a Bitcoin Mutual Fund. It expands the universe.“
Most importantly, Bakkt could convince the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to give the green light for the long-awaited bitcoin ETF. Mr. Kelly believes that “Consumers will now have a U.S.-regulated exchange and they have a licensed warehouse, which is how commodities are stored and that’s going to make it a lot easier for an ETF to come through.“
Curiously, the crypto markets did not react positively to the news, with BTC barely hovering over the $7,000 mark at press time. As to reasons why, Kelly speculated that it is possible that major crypto bulls in Asia were still unaware of the news, with the announcement coming on a Friday morning when trading in Asia had been closed for the day.
Bitcoin has shed a further $400 from its price on Saturday and Kelly suggested now might be a good time to buy crypto, as he stated that, “My conclusion is the crypto market is completely missing this. Perhaps the market in general is missing this. This is very, very big news.“
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