Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE) purportedly took advantage of the “crypto winter” to purchase crypto assets at a discount for its institutional cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt, Reuters reported on May 2.
ICE’s chief executive officer Jeffrey Sprecher reportedly told Reuters that “It’s really been helpful that the cryptocurrency industry sort of went into what they call a winter.” 2018 was a bear year for digital currencies; in mid-November crypto markets suffered sharp double-digit losses, bringing bitcoin (BTC) below $5,600 for the first time that year.
Bakkt — which was originally set to roll out in January 2019 — subsequently delayed the launch due to the ongoing consultations with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In early February, Sprecher said that he expects Bakkt to launch later in 2019. In the recent interview with Reuters, Sprecher said that all that time ICE has been hiring on talent, including through acquisitions:
“We’ve actually looked at a number of different companies and acquired a company earlier this week that wouldn’t have been available to us if the market had been really hot.”
On Monday, Cointelegraph reported that Bakkt acquired cryptocurrency custodian service company Digital Asset Custody Company. The firm also revealed that it had 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.
In previous months, Bakkt saw an array of important hires, with former engineering executive at PayPal and Google Mike Blandina joining the company as its chief product officer; former cybersecurity expert at IBM, Cisco and Endgame Tom Noonan becoming the chairman of Bakkt’s board of directors; as well as Coinbase veteran Adam White being appointed as Bakkt’s COO and head of institutional custody and traded products.