The main operator for up to 23 biggest exchanges around the world, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has recently announced a new global digital assets platform centered around Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto.
ICE announces the creation of a new platform
ICE, which is the operator for the New York Stock Exchange, among others, will collaborate with Microsoft to kickstart a new ecosystem for various digital assets. The new ecosystem will be regulated and open, as well as cloud-powered, courtesy of Microsoft. The announcement came on August 3, and it unveiled that the new company’s name is Bakkt.
Bakkt will be working with an entire group of various enterprises like Microsoft, BCG, Starbucks, and others. The goal of the team-up is to make a platform that will allow merchants, consumers, ass well as institutional investors, to work with their favorite digital assets. They will be able to sell them, buy them, and even store them on the project’s global network.
The first use cases will see the conversion and trade of Bitcoin tokens. The platform users will be able to exchange BTC for fiat currencies, and then use those fiat currencies to buy items at Starbucks. The warehousing and markets used by the new ecosystem are to be federally regulated.
Additionally, Bakkt will offer futures exchange within the US, as well as a clearinghouse plan, that will see the launch of BTC contracts that will be physically delivered, which is to be a 1-day event. Introducing the regulated venues like this will lead to the establishment of completely new protocols regarding the management of specific settlement and security requirements for cryptos.
Physical delivery of BTC futures contracts
ICE’s intention is to design Bakkt as a means of support for transaction flows by mobilizing the infrastructure of a trusted market. Bakkt ecosystem investors will have the ability to include Mike Novogratz’ Galaxy Digital, the venture capital arm of Microsoft, Susquehanna International Group, Pantera Capital, and others.
Originally, the reports of ICE’s potential launch of Bitcoin futures contracts that will be physically delivered came in May of this year. CBOE and CME are currently offering similar deals, but theirs are settled in fiat, which is a big difference between what ICE is going to offer.
Back then, analysts commented on this move by saying that a physical delivery might lead to significant price moves within the crypto market, due to a large stream of institutional capital that is expected to come. According to Mike Novogratz’s estimations, this is just what the crypto market needs. He stated earlier that the institutional investors need a trusted name behind a project like this in order to feel comfortable joining in.
He predicted that someone like HSBC, Goldman Sachs, or a big Japanese bank are needed to give their support to such a project. Additionally, he predicted that ICE would also be a valid candidate, and now, it would seem that his prediction may come to pass.
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Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 25th January, 2021, // ChainWire //
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