Bakkt Acquires Assets Of RCG, Aims To Expand Crypto Offerings
Although Bakkt, an up-and-coming, yet to be released Bitcoin platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE parent company), recently pushed back its launch due to regulatory shortcomings, the startup has remained at the top of the crypto industry’s collective consciousness.
In an announcement from Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler, deemed one of the most powerful people in finance for fiscal 2018, it was explained that the organization, also backed by Microsoft and Starbucks, had made its first official acquisition to start of 2019 with a bang.
Loeffler, wed to the chief executive at ICE, noted that her firm had purchased “certain assets” of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), a Chicago-based independent futures commission merchant, that has garnered over one century of experience. This transaction is slated to be finalized by February, which will be when unnamed members of RCG will join Bakkt to “build the first integrated, institutional grade exchange-traded markets and custody solution for physical delivery of crypto.”
The nitty gritty of the deal weren’t divulged, but Loeffler told Fortune in an interview that Bakkt saw an opportunity to “purchase a portion of the back office operations,” especially certain facets of the compliance, risk management, treasury service departments. As put by Fortune’s Shawn Tully, “Bakkt is essentially buying part of Rosenthal’s back office.”
While RCG is mainly centered on the traditional world of finance, the crypto chief made it clear that the newly-acquired asset will aid Bakkt’s mission, especially in terms of bringing Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets to the mainstream. She wrote:
It will enhance our risk management and treasury operations with systems and expertise. Other aspects of the transaction will contribute to our regulatory, AML/KYC and customer service operations as we help enable digital asset acceptance by bringing more choice and control to buyers and sellers.
Addressing the delay of Bakkt’s physically-backed futures contract, Loeffler explained that this recent deal “underlines” the fact that the company isn’t standing still as it waits for a regulatory green light, which has further been stalled by the American government shutdown.
This move comes just weeks after Bakkt announced that it had completed a hefty funding round. Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, in early-January, Bakkt divulged it had seen 12 partners and investors, including Boston Consulting Group, Mike Novogratz‘s Galaxy Digital, ICE, Microsoft’s venture arm, and San Francisco-based Pantera Capital, siphon over $182.5 million into Bakkt’s beefy wallet.
It was explained that with this influx of funding, the startup intends to continue working on “driving institutional access” for blockchain-based assets, while also bolstering merchant and consumer adoption. Eventually, Loeffler made it clear that her organization intends to truly collaborate with Starbucks. But, the details of that ambition weren’t fully divulged.
Bitcoin To Run On Launch Of Bakkt?
Although reports indicate that institutional demand for Bitcoin may be waning, some are convinced that the crypto market will run on the arrival of institutional participants — beckoned in by platforms like Bakkt, ErisX, Fidelity Digital Asset Services, etc.
As reported by us previously, Jeff Berwick, the so-called Dollar Vigilante, told BlockTV that with the arrival of institutional money, cryptocurrencies prices will explode en bloc, as there are presumed trillions waiting on the sidelines.