At press time, bitcoin is trading for about $10,169. The currency has gone through some very strange behavior over the past 24 hours, falling below the $10,000 range to $9,600, only to jump back up again and reach the spot where it stood before. Perhaps the remark that the currency is at its lowest volatility levels since last May has some truth to it, or maybe it has something to do with Bakkt.
Bakkt Is About to Emerge
One of the big questions running through investors’ and analysts’ minds is whether Bakkt will potentially bring BTC into mainstream territory. The trading platform was announced roughly one year ago in September of 2018 as a means of allowing retailers to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. In addition, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) explained that there would also be an institutional side to Bakkt that would allow professional traders to get involved in crypto trading.
Unfortunately, the enterprise has experienced a wide number of delays and setbacks. Originally, Bakkt was set to begin its trading journey in December of last year. Naturally, this didn’t happen thanks to the shutdown of the United States government in both that month and the following January. During that time, hype surrounding Facebook’s new Libra coin began to steal the spotlight, while Bakkt wound up on the backburner.
However, the trading platform has since knocked its latest trading hurdle out of the way, having been cleared for “duty” with the New York State Department of Financial Services. CEO Kelly Loeffler explains that she and her team are ready to do all that’s necessary in pushing bitcoin towards becoming a solid investment tool for both retail and institutional players. She comments:
The funds that trade on our exchange expressed to us that they don’t want to deal in today’s unregulated markets, and want end-to-end federal oversight, on the level of the NYSE, to feel safe trading in bitcoin… Pension funds, for example, are diversifying into alternatives. Regulated bitcoin futures could be part of their investment mandate, since they have different correlations with both stocks and bonds, and other alternatives such as gold.
One of the big benefits of accepting crypto as a means of payment is that retail companies can avoid the heavy fees that credit card companies tend to charge them whenever customers use plastic. This will ultimately help these companies save each year, and the venture is presently in talks with several heavy players in the retail market about extending its services to them, though these players are not named at press time.
Big Names Are “Curious”
ICE founder and CEO Jeff Sprecher says that asset managers are not necessarily needy of bitcoin yet, but they’re “intensely curious.” He comments:
It’s the sense that money managers want to be at the front of this train and not left out.