Jeff Sprecher, CEO of the NYSE’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has asserted that digital assets will survive, regardless of the market’s dips and dives as seen over the past weeks.

A firm backer of Bitcoin, Sprecher had announced that, with the help of technology partner Microsoft, ICE was planning to launch a new digital asset platform called Bakkt. Starbucks and Microsoft will be major partners of the much-anticipated platform Bakkt and are reportedly going to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The excitement surrounding Bakkt is centered around its plans to launch physically-settled Bitcoin futures by January next year; recent market sentiment is thought to have postponed the launch, originally scheduled for late 2018.

Sprecher reflected on recent events in the market and Bitcoin’s current position: “Somehow Bitcoin has lived in a swamp and survived… There are thousands of other tokens that you could argue are better but yet Bitcoin continues to survive, thrive and attract attention… Often times in finance, it’s not about being the best — it turns out to be about being the broadest and the most commonly accepted and for whatever reason Bitcoin has become that.”

Despite SEC commissioner Hester Peirce declaring in a 24 November podcast that long-awaited ETF approvals are “definitely possible”, the SEC warns that these won’t be any time in the near future. Kelly Loeffer, Bakkt’s CEO and wife of the NYSE chairman, claims that Bakkt is creating its own opportunities for the future, stating:

“We’re creating that infrastructure that doesn’t exist today, which we think is a big opportunity for institutional investors to come in.”

As for the future, Nasdaq seems unfazed and retains a bullish optimism with its plans to launch Bitcoin futures in 2019 through its partnership with VanEck . Both Nasdaq and the NYSE forging ahead towards becoming cryptocurrency exchanges and Nasdaq’s CEO Adena Friedman asserted that over time the exchange giant could become a cryptocurrency exchange once “the sector matures”.

Clearly, major players are not simply waiting on the SEC for ETF game-changing thumbs up in 2019. New Year’s resolutions are already being made.


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