The establishment of Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) bitcoin futures trading and custody platform according to estimation, will cost over $20 million this year. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.
The ICE’s chief financial officer, Scott Hill, stated in an earnings call for Q4, 2018, on Feb. 7 that the investment of the firm in Bakkt will amount to $20 million to $25 million of its estimated costs for the fiscal year 2019.
The estimation was made just six weeks following the declaration of a massive $182 million fundraise by Bakkt for its plan to roll out the trading platform with the approval of the regulators. But, the live launching of the platform has been twice suspended, a condition which was aggravated by the recent shutdown of the U.S. government, while it puts in all effort for the green light to be secured from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The ICE CEO, Jeff Sprecher commented in the earnings call that the investment in Bakkt is by the firm is “a bit of a moonshot bet” and is not an ordinary ICE product. However, some “very, very interesting” companies for investment including Microsoft’s venture fund and Starbucks have been attracted by the platform’s infrastructure.
According to Sprecher, other rounds of financing is expected to be conducted by Bakkt in the future. He further stated that Bakkt is presently a separate firm with ICE as the major investor, however, it may be fully spun off in the future.
However, Sprecher was not straightforward about the launch timeline of Bakkt, and only stated that users could “later this year” expect to see it live.
Fraudsters during the previous week tried to use the Bakkt brand to con users out of their bitcoin due to the market expectation of Bakkt’s launch building.
Emails were sent out by the impersonators claiming that the launching of Bakkt will be done on March 12 and another round of financing will be hosted in order to secure $50 million. The prospective investors were requested to register and send cryptos to a fake Bakkt website which was later confirmed by the press that it has no formal link with the platform.