ICE’s Bakkt Announces Acquisition of Digital Asset Custody Company

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-lead institutional cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt has аcquired a crypto custodian service, the firm announced on April 29.

In a blog post, Bakkt announced a number of new measures in its apparent effort to stimulate regulatory feedback, including the acquisition of Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC).

While DACC’s native support of 13 blockchains and 100+ assets is designed to “serve as an important accelerator,” the entire DACC team will also be joining Bakkt, as former Coinbase exec and new Bakkt COO Adam White wrote in the blog post on Monday.

In the same announcement, White revealed that Bakkt has filed an application with the New York Department of Financial Services to operate as a trust company, which will enable the firm to serve as a Qualified Custodian for digital assets.

Specifically, Bakkt said that the company is planning to launch physically-delivered bitcoin (BTC) futures, with contracts set to be traded on ICE Futures US (IFUS) and cleared on ICE Clear US (ICUS), a federally regulated exchange and clearinghouse regulated by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Recently, on April 18, Bloomberg reported that the ICE was considering acquiring a New York BitLicense to launch bitcoin futures, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

CEO of Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, reportedly claimed that the firm is not changing its strategy, but is clarifying its role within the industry, as Fortune reports. Loeffler told Fortune:

“There is no pivot. From the ground up what ICE has been building for two years is the safest version of a custody solution for digital assets.”

ICE, the operator of 23 major global exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, had announced it will launch the Microsoft cloud-powered “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” Bakkt in August 2018.

Originally set to be launched in January 2019, Bakkt subsequently delayed the launch due to the ongoing consultations with the U.S. CFTC. In early February, ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher declared that he expects Bakkt to launch later in 2019.