Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange sees the eventual Bakkt launch as a “moonshot bet” according to its CEO and chairman of the NYSE, Jeff Sprecher.

Talking over the past few days, Sprecher says that he is optimistic that Bakkt will be worthwhile and sees ICE’s involvement as “different” claiming that the deal has “…been organized in a manner that is very different than the way ICE typically does businesses.”

Making the remarks at a conference call yesterday he suggested that there will be a launch this year, after earlier delays and the implications that it could be soon. “Bakkt has its own offices, its own management team, etc. They’re well along in building out an infrastructure that I think you’ll see launch later this year,” said ICE’s boss.

Bakkt, which will offer institutional investors bitcoin futures trading, should have gone live in January but was postponed partly due to the US government shutdown at the time. The claim is that Bakkt will provide custody and price discovery for bitcoin which will be free from market manipulation and fraud.

There is speculation that the move by NYSE could bring the long-awaited wave of institutional investment into the cryptocurrency space, thus rejuvenating the flagging market; a market which has seen some revitalization over the past 24 hours.

Scott Hill, ICE’s chief financial officer said that Bakkt-related expenses for the first quarter topped $20 million stating “Our investment in Bakkt will generate $20 million to $25 million of expense based upon the run rate in the first quarter.”

Sprecher said, by bringing in Starbucks and Microsoft the potential is for a “very valuable company” to be created.


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