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ICE To Launch Digital Asset Platform, Bitcoin Futures Contracts This Year

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Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an American company that owns 23 exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange, has announced that it will launch a platform for digital assets ‘Bakkt’. It will start offering Bitcoin futures contracts in November 2018.

The Bitcoin futures contract will be approved by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Kelly Loeffler, Bakkt’s CEO, said:

Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security and utility. We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.

Bakkt is partnering with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Microsoft, Starbucks and other companies to allow crypto users to buy / sell, store and use their crypto assets with ease. Its earliest applications will use Bitcoin since it is the most established, liquid cryptocurrency.

Jeffrey C. Sprecher, founder and CEO of ICE, said, “In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets.”

BCG’s Senior Partner, Sean Collins, said that blockchain technology has the ability to create reliable platforms. In using this new technology, Bakkt will allow other companies to “accelerate a range of innovation”.

Starbuck’s VP of Partnerships and Payments, Maria Smith, said that Starbucks is always interested in finding new payment methods for its customers.

Bakkt’s investors include Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, Alan Howard, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.

The launch date of Bakkt will be revealed in the upcoming weeks. Loeffler published a Medium post and stated, “Bakkt is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications.”

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

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