Bakkt, an Atlanta-based cryptocurrency exchange, has raised $182.5 million from 12 notable investors and VC firms, according to an announcement by CEO Kelly Loeffler.
Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures participated in the round.
In a Medium blog post, Loeffler said the company’s mission is focused on “driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses.” The startup will also be collaborating with major companies like Starbucks in the future, she wrote.
“We’ll share details as the New Year unfolds, but as our COO Adam White and I work through Bakkt’s 2019 objectives, we are focused on opportunities to provide new infrastructure, including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage,” she wrote.
Loeffler said 2018 was the most active year for cryptocurrency, due to rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, along with daily bitcoin transaction value. In her post, Loeffler said major tech advances prior to 2000, like cell phones in the 1980’s and commercializing the internet in the 1990’s, weren’t under the watchful eye of constant digital headlines and tweets. She said this was a risk of “marking to market” before innovations, like digital assets, have the opportunity to mature.
In 2018, the company worked closely with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, seeking regulatory approval for physically delivered and warehoused bitcoin, Loeffler said.
Bakkt is a cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity provider created by the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE: ICE). The company is working with a group of customers, such as BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks and others, to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a global network.
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