Bakkt Archives - 2100NEWS

UrbanJanuary 30, 2019

15min770

Despite the news that US-based mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments may be aiming for a launch of its highly anticipated crypto custody solution in March this year, bitcoin’s reaction was muted.

As of press time Wednesday morning, the price of the number one cryptocurrency was up roughly 1% over the past 24 hours, after seeing a sell-off of roughly 4% earlier in the week.

 

Fidelity, which is the fourth largest asset manager in the world with USD 7.2 trillion in assets under management, last year launched Fidelity Digital Assets as a separate company to handle all things blockchain related that Fidelity is involved in. This includes crypto custody, trade execution, and support for various institutional clients looking to dip their toe into the world of digital assets.

Now, the company is making progress with its digital asset custody solution, three anonymous sources at “firms that spoke with Fidelity in the past several weeks” told Bloomberg. According to the sources, bitcoin custody will be coming up starting in March, followed by custody of ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform.

When asked for a comment, Fidelity itself did not offer much to back up the claims from the sources:

“We are currently serving a select set of eligible clients as we continue to build our initial solutions. Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and prioritize prospective clients based on needs, jurisdiction and other factors,” the company said.

Meanwhile, after the launch of the much-anticipated Bakkt crypto futures trading platform has been postponed to an unspecified date, the cryptoverse is suspicious that it might happen with Fidelity, also:

B-Money@Brettloug

@Fidelity cant fool us. March means september of 2022. We learned this from @Bakkt ..fool me once..i cant get fooled again.

See B-Money’s other Tweets

However, if the news is true, this might be a significant event for the crypto market.

Joseph Young@iamjosephyoung

If Fidelity goes ahead with the launch of Bitcoin custody by the end of Q1, it would mean it sees some demand from institutions.

Blockchain, Coinbase, and other companies laid off execs in charge of institutional clients. Refreshing to see Fidelity push forward.

View image on Twitter

My2Sats [BTC/LN] ⚡@Sauby_k

Fidelity is much better placed to know and understand institutional client demand than the upstarts.

So if they are pushing forward, thats a big indication of a market need.

See My2Sats [BTC/LN] ⚡‘s other Tweets

The lack of proper third-party custody solutions for cryptocurrencies has been widely considered an obstacle for financial institutions looking to get into the world of crypto, as this is a strict requirement from financial regulators around the world. However, Fidelity’s CEO Abigail Johnson is known as crypto-friendly, and has made it a mission for her company to offer these solutions to the rest of Wall Street.

Meanwhile, as reported in December, it seems that Wall Street is in limbo regarding its cryptocurrency plans, even when some crypto scene players are calling the bottom. However, this silence of the institutional players might be illusory.

Tyler Welmans, Deloitte UK’s blockchain lead, told Cryptonews.com that he expects continued growth in corporate investment in crypto-related platforms and services, with the recent slump in the market arguably making crypto as a whole more attractive to certain investors.

“With respect to public networks and cryptocurrencies, there are few signs banks are investing directly in cryptocurrencies, although plenty of niche investment funds are,” he said earlier this January. “However, we continue to see strong growth in the development of cryptocurrency-linked products and services, such as exchange trading, futures and custody services.”


UrbanJanuary 10, 2019

4min982

Bakkt, a digital asset platform created by the Intercontinental Exchange, has completed its first funding round, securing an investment from Li Ka-shing, a renowned Hong Kong billionaire and one of the wealthiest men on the planet.

Li Ka-Shing Leads Investment Round For Bakkt

Bakkt, a cryptocurrency platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) had completed its Series A funding round on Dec. 31, 2018. Bakkt signed off more than $180 million raised, entering the new year with a bang.

The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) managed to attract heavyweight tech and venture capital investors, including Boston Consulting Group, Microsoft’s venture capital arm M12, and Naspers’ fintech company PayU, Bakkt’s Medium post revealed.

According to EJ Insight, one of the most notable investors in Bakkt was Horizons Ventures, a Hong Kong venture capital firm founded by Li Ka-shing. Ka-shing, who is the 23rd richest man in the world according to Forbes; he has been accumulating an assorted portfolio of tech startups over the last decade.

This, however, isn’t the first time Ka-shing has ventured into cryptocurrencies. In 2013, Horizons Ventures invested in BitPay, a bitcoin payment processing software, and in 2016 in Blockstream, a blockchain technology provider.

Investors Recognize Bakkt’s Potential

Bakkt’s plan to launch a digital asset platform that will host institutional-grade futures contracts for bitcoin and other cryptos seems to have resonated well with investors. Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures was joined by CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, and Protocol Ventures, Bakkt’s CEO, Kelly Loeffler said.

Backing by some of the biggest names among institutional investors could help the cryptocurrency market gain much-needed recognition. Institutional backing could also reduce the volatility that has plagued the crypto market for years.

Physically delivered crypto futures will set Bakkt apart from the competition, as rival exchanges CME and CBOE settle their contracts in fiat. Bakkt’s contracts will also be warehoused and cleared through ICE’s US-based futures exchange and clearinghouse.

Many small time crypto traders are looking forward to the launch of Bakkt’s contracts on Jan. 24, 2019, as the initial launch was set for Nov. 2018. The company blamed regulatory setbacks for the delay, with Loeffler saying Bakkt has filed an application with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and was waiting for approval.


UrbanNovember 22, 2018

10min370

Over the past week, the price of Bitcoin has dropped by more than 35 percent, and the majority of analysts in the crypto space have shared the sentiment that the crash was triggered by the contentious hard fork of Bitcoin Cash.

According to Bart Smith, the head of digital asset at trading giant Susquehanna, a lack of liquidity in Bitcoin markets allowed the dominant cryptocurrency to be vulnerable to a large sell-off caused by the Bitcoin Cash hash power war and hard fork.

In the months to come, Smith explained that the entrance of FidelityICE, and Bakkt into the cryptocurrency market could increase the liquidity of BTC and lead to a rise in capital in the space to soak up big sell-offs.

Importance of Fidelity and Bakkt

Currently, it is fairly difficult for an average trader to invest in the cryptocurrency exchange market through trading platforms like Coinbase and Bitstamp. Investors are required to hand in photocopies of government-issued documents, undergo rigorous Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, and comply with policies enforced by exchanges.

Embedded video

CNBC’s Fast Money

@CNBCFastMoney

As plunges and nears $4,000, Wall Street’s Crypto King Bart Smith of Susquehanna says he’s still a long-term believer in the cryptocurrency.

282 people are talking about this

The impractical systems adopted by cryptocurrency exchanges as per the request of government agencies in the US, Japan, South Korea, and other leading digital asset markets have limited the cryptocurrency market to a relatively small group of investors that possess a certain know-how to invest in the emerging asset class.

Smith explained:

“Number one, the on-ramps for new capital is very difficult. If you’re a global institution, it is still very difficult to buy Bitcoin in a way you might want to. A wealthy individual from the G.I. Generation is not going to take a high-resolution picture of their driver’s license and send it to a website and send money there. They want to invest with Fidelity. They want to invest with Bank of America.”

The Susquehanna executive added that the limited number of fiat on-ramps in the cryptocurrency market made it difficult for Bitcoin markets to absorb growing sell-pressure placed upon by investors that have started to lose confidence in the short-term trend of BTC due to the Bitcoin Cash hard fork fiasco.

“That has led to the second problem which is without the new capital on-ramp, liquidity has been very low. And so we’ve kind of seen a stable price all through summer, it was at $6,000 give or take. Volatility got really light at the end of July. So what happens is in that environment, if you have a contentious fork, it does not necessarily create a tremendous amount of confidence and when those sellers come in, there’s just no liquidity to absorb it. Hopefully, with Bakkt, Fidelity, and further regulations, there are going to be enough capital to soak it up.”

Targeting Retail Traders

As of now, both Fidelity and Bakkt are leaning towards institutional investors as their target client base. But, if financial institutions like Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley begin to provide cryptocurrency investment services to retail traders as proposed in October, it could substantially increase the liquidity coming from individual investors in the crypto space.



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