Intercontinental Exchange’s Digital Asset Platform Bakkt Announces First Acquisition

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Bakkt, the digital assets platform backed by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has acquired certain assets in futures commission merchant Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG). The acquisition was announced in a Medium post on Monday, Jan. 14.

In the post, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler hinted that the company’s latest move is part of Bakkt’s ambitious plans to become the first integrated and institutional grade exchange-traded markets and custody solutions.

Loeffler also stressed that the acquisition means that the company is slowing down operations while awaiting regulatory approval by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for the launch of regulated trading in crypto markets. Loeffler stated:

“Our mission requires significant investment in technology to establish an innovative platform, as well as financial market expertise to deliver the most trusted fintech ecosystem for digital assets.”

The acquirement of assets at RCG will purportedly expand Bakkt’s risk management and treasury operations with systems and expertise, as well as contribute to Bakkt’s regulatory requirements, such as anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) policies, Loeffler wrote. The transaction is expected to be closed in February, she added.

Founded in 1923, RCG is an independent futures commission merchant that announced it was selling its customer accounts to leading commodity broker Marex Spectron in December 2018.

The recent acquisition announcement has been made in the wake of the targeted date of the Bakkt’s launch, which was set for Jan. 24. However, Bakkt will be allegedly unable to launch on its targeting date due to the CFTC’s rule of a 30-day feedback period open to the general public on the proposal.

As the U.S. government is currently undergoing a record-breaking shutdown that began on Dec. 22, 2018, the CFTC has not been operating as usual, which could contribute to the potential delay.

Bakkt was first announced in August 2018 by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which operates 23 leading global exchanges, including the NYSE. On Dec. 31, the ICE reported it will update the launch of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract launch timeline in early 2019 in accordance with the CFTC’s process and timeline.

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