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Bakkt May Commence Later This Year, Says Intercontinental Exchange CEO

Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange expects the firm’s cryptocurrency and digital asset platform Bakkt to launch later in 2019. Jeff Sprecher made the aforementioned comment during an earnings call on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Interestingly, the call was primarily about Intercontinental Exchange’s financial results for Q4 and the full year of 2018. Sprecher further explained that the company spent over $1 billion on strategic initiatives, including on the launch of the cryptocurrency and digital asset platform.

Notably, Intercontinental Exchange operates 23 leading global exchanges, along with the New York Stock Exchange.

Scott Hill, the company’s CFO, further divulged his prospects on the expenditure Bakkt is set to bring, based on its current financial performance. He said that their investment in Bakkt will generate around $20 million to $25 million of expense based upon the run rate in the first quarter. He further added that they will update the audience on the progress at Bakkt and the level of investment as they move through the year.

Moreover, Sprecher characterized the cryptocurrency platform as a “moonshot bet” for ICE, when asked about the probable returns or revenue growth from recent investments, including Bakkt. He mentioned that it’s a bit of a moonshot bet and it’s been organized in a manner that is exceptionally dissimilar than the way Intercontinental Exchange typically does businesses. Also, they’re well along in building out an infrastructure that he thinks people will see launch later this year.

He further mentioned that Bakkt exists independently from Intercontinental Exchange, as it has its own management team, offices, and infrastructure. He pointed out that the project’s infrastructure has already engrossed a number of high-profile investors and partners, including Microsoft and Starbucks — as per the previous media reports.

It is to be noted that ICE initially announced the launch of its crypto platform in August 2018 and the company was set to launch in early 2019. However, the date was postponed due to the continuing consultations with the United States Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.

On Feb. 9, Intercontinental Exchange declared that it has finalized its first acquisition of assets in futures commission merchant Rosenthal Collins Group, that was initially announced in mid-January.

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