ICE’s Bakkt completes $182 million funding round, delays launch until early 2019

Intercontinental Exchange’s cryptocurrency exchange and platform completes first funding round with 12 investors on board.

Bakkt, the cryprocurrency exchange and platform project from Intercontinental Exchange, has raised $182 million from its first funding round.

The funds were raised through a consortium of 12 organisations, comprising Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the FinTech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.

ICE first announced plans for its cryptocurrency platform in August last year, drawing on support from non-financial organisations, including Microsoft and Starbucks, to launch a federally-regulated market and warehouse for digital assets.

Bakkt will initially be used for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies by both institutional and retail clients, and it will be based on Microsoft’s cloud technology.

Originally slated to launch in November 2018, the Bakkt launch was then pushed back to 24 January this year. However, this has now been rescheduled to “early 2019” and is awaiting regulatory permissions from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“Notably, 2018 was the most active year for crypto in its brief ten-year history,” said Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, in a statement

announcing the funding round completion. “This was evidenced by rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, as well as by blockchain network metrics such as daily bitcoin transaction value and active addresses.

“Yet, these milestones tend to be overshadowed by the more narrow focus on bitcoin’s price, which has been seen by some, as a proxy for the potential of the technology.”

In November, Adam White, the former Coinbase senior executive, joined Bakkt as the firm’s COO.