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Bakkt Hires PayPal and Google Veteran as Chief Product Officer

Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt has a new chief product officer. Announced via Medium earlier today, the exchange has added Mike Blandina to its team.

Bakkt Hires New CPO

In previous years, Blandina has worked at PayPal where he served as head of payments and credit engineering. He has also been director of engineering for Google Wallet.

In most recent years, Blandina was chief technology officer and product and engineering at OneMarket. CEO of Bakkt Kelly Loeffler wrote in the blog post:

“As our CPO, Mike will lead our efforts to converge a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payments use cases, two elements of Bakkt that help bring real-world applications to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

Development

Bakkt is still awaiting regulatory approval in order to launch. It has faced multiple delays already with the initial launch expected back in November. However, in Loeffler’s posting, she said that “race day is approaching.” This comment has led some to wonder if the team has more clarity on its regulatory situation that it has yet to disclose.

She wrote further:

“As a former marathoner, this point in time recalls the stage in the training regimen when you’re putting in long runs with your training team […] there is more work to be done […] I’m proud to be going the distance with this growing team and of the culture we are building, while bringing digital assets into the mainstream economy.”

What is Bakkt?

Bakkt wants to offer a federally regulated market for Bitcoin, transforming Bitcoin into a trusted global currency with broad usage.

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Its main goal is to make Bitcoin a secure offering for the biggest global financial institutions that currently shun it. Bakkt is looking to create a path for these major money managers to offer Bitcoin pension funds, mutual funds, and ETFs as highly regulated, mainstream investments.

Approval

As stated, Bakkt is still waiting on approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to list its Bitcoin futures contract. One major consideration for the CFTC is that Bakkt’s proposal would see it warehousing its own Bitcoin. This may be one cause for delay.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © nevarpp

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Bakkt Looks for Support for Its Next Futures Contract

As Bitcoin continues to slide past the $4,500 mark, bullish investors need something to hold onto. Bakkt is trying to give it to them.

Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the NYSE, is fighting the good fight with a plan to make cryptocurrencies mainstream.

Bakkt is its plan.

The new platform offers regulated trading, clearing and custody, and security. It is a safe environment for consumers to buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets.

Bakkt and Bitcoin

The platform’s first futures contract will be a Bitcoin one, as it is “the clear crypto leader.”

What will be the next futures contract?

In order to expand its offering, Bakkt is looking to the community to help decide what digital asset to support:

“As the world’s most liquid and widely distributed cryptocurrency, and where we’ve seen the most customer demand, bitcoin’s profile creates a liquid product on which to build a futures contract. We’ll consider additional contracts as the landscape evolves and as we receive additional customer feedback about what they want and need.”

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Bitcoin Futures Contract

Bakkt has had to delay the first Bitcoin futures contract. Pending regulatory approval, it is now scheduled to launch on January 24th, 2019.

It made the announcement yesterday saying the following:

“As is often true with product launches, there are new processes, risks and mitigants to test and re-test, and in the case of crypto, a new asset class to which these resources are being applied. So, it makes sense to adjust our timeline as we work with the industry toward launch.”

The company has also blamed the “volume of interest” in the contracts and how that has meant more time needed to ensure everything is fully ready for launch.

Until Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures launch, it will be hard to think of any other coin launch yet. Success is riding on the first!

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© Fotofabrika

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