Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Microsoft and Starbucks backed Bakkt, the physically-settled Bitcoin futures platform, has now grown immensely with more trading products, expanded custodial services and a consumer payments app.
Bakkt’s launch was a much-awaited one. A drawn-out regulatory approval process preceded the release by a year. When the exchange finally launched in December, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler stepped down, and chief product officer Mike Blandina took over as CEO.
A successful journey so far
Bakkt has been trying to bait institutional investors with a variety of investment options. After a slow start, it soon picked up the pace with 1741 BTC ($15.5 million) worth of contracts traded in one day in November. The daily volume registered by Bakkt has been growing ever since.
Data from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) reveal that more than $20.3 million was traded in Bitcoin in a single day in November. The firm also added that Bakkt was on a bullish trend due to the launch of the Bitcoin options contracts. The exchange broke another record in December as the ICE-backed crypto exchange managed to trade close to $50 mln worth of its physically-settled Bitcoin futures on Dec. 18.
Amidst a fairly successful period following its launch, Bakkt also made the headlines when its former CEO Kelly Loeffler was lined up by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for a United States Senate.
Now, in an announcement on Twitter, Loeffler said that she had been sworn into the U.S senate by Mike Pece, the chief officer of Senate, to become Georgia’s newest Senator. She further said that she had already cast her first vote to support U.S. President Donald Trump to lead the Small Business Administration, an autonomous U.S. government agency designed to assist small businesses in the country.
Will she represent Crypto?
This has sparked fresh optimism among the crypto community as someone from this sector was joining the realm of politics, and this could very well be fruitful for the emerging industry. The reasoning behind Loeffler’s appointment, however, was nothing Bitcoin-related at all; rather a drive for more women voters for the Republican Party, but it is still a good sign for Bitcoin.
Loeffler has always described herself as a supporter of Donald Trump, and her vote just reassured that. Trump, on the other hand, is anti-cryptocurrencies as he has previously been very straightforward about his views behind digital tokens. The President said on Twitter:
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity. Similarly, Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” will have little standing or dependability […] we have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
Bakkt has been playing a key role in the growth of the crypto industry. It still has a long way to go before it helps bring in true institutional investment. The introduction of the Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 is another vital move in regulating crypto markets.
Loeffler could also be a game-changer, as we can hope that she’ll be able to change the entire face of the Senate’s understanding and acceptance of Bitcoin. It would also mean that there would be another Senator in the corner who could help educate and eventually share the experience of how Bitcoin can work in a regulated sense.