Fundstrat’s Tom Lee provides his two cents on ICE’s Bakkt and its key advantages compared to existing cryptocurrency exchanges.
Is Bakkt Different?
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced August 3 that it will launch Bakkt – a global platform as well as an ecosystem for digital assets. CEO of Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, noted that:
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.
But what makes Bakkt different?
He notes that Bakkt is bringing 1-day futures contracts of physically delivered bitcoin where the contract buyer will receive his BTC the following day. This is similar to the commodity backed VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF proposal, which arguably makes a Bitcoin ETF redundant.
With bitcoins actually being traded, the platform resembles typical cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance and Coinbase. Nevertheless, Bakkt offers some distinct advantages compared to these popular trading platforms, according to Lee.
NYSE Operator ICE is Behind It
The fact that Bakkt is owned by the parent company of the NYSE and has support from companies such as Microsoft and Starbucks is a big deal.
According to Lee, ICE already established trading relationships with major banks such as JPMorgan and with brokers such as Fidelity Investment and Charles Schwab. What this does is paving the way for traditional investors to access Bitcoin through their brokers.
Furthermore, ICE itself has substantial financial resources. With $ 85 billion in assets and $ 6 billion in revenues, the company provides a solid foundation for its digital assets platform.
“ICE is the counterparty to the trade… ICE has tremendous financial resources with revs $ 6 billion and $ 85 billion in assets. As a custodian/counterparty, money good,” Lee wrote.
Bridging a Gap
Lee also notes that Bakkt can serve as a bridge for millennials who don’t trust traditional financial institutions and are embracing digital payments. He quotes the CEO of ICE Jeff Sprecher, who noted:
Millenials don’t trust traditional financial institutions. To gain their trust, banks, brokerages, and asset managers can use a currency taht millenials believe in, like Bitcoin. Using digital currencies brings a lot of sizzle.
Bitcoinist reported on a recent survey which indicated that a growing number of millennials are actually investing in cryptocurrencies, while the majority of them are turning away from traditional retirement funds.
Bakkt is scheduled to launch at some point in November this year.
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