Bakkt President Adam White Announces His Departure

The founding executive is leaving the Wall Street bitcoin firm. Where to next is unclear.

Dec 23, 2021 at 3:09 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 23, 2021 at 3:40 p.m. UTC

Adam White, the president of cryptocurrency firm Bakkt, is leaving the company he helped build from scratch as a founding executive.

White spent the last three years at Bakkt, a company that launched in 2018 with the ambitious aim of making institutional crypto adoption a reality before pivoting to a suite of more retail-focused products.

Prior to his time with Bakkt, White was vice president and general manager for five years at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

“After a great 3+ years at Bakkt, next week will be my last,” White said in a tweet on Thursday. “I’ve loved working at [the] intersection of crypto + markets and good to see the industry finding the balance between innovation & regulation. Lots of work still to do here but never been more optimistic about the future.”

White did not reveal what opportunities he would be exploring next.

Bakkt went public in October of this year following a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BKKT.”

Shares in Bakkt spiked around the end of October at above $40, but have since dropped sharply and were trading at $9.10 at the time of writing.

According to an email sent to Bakkt staff this week that was seen by CoinDesk, White’s “deep expertise in crypto and a commitment to execution and innovation will be sorely missed.”

“We’re fortunate to have a deep bench of leaders that are well positioned to help Bakkt achieve its vision of connecting the digital economy,” Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael wrote in the email.

Bakkt, which came charging out the gate with the weight of NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange behind it, has struggled to live up to the lofty expectations placed upon it during the crypto bear market in which it was born.

The company launched with Kelly Loeffler at the helm as CEO before she left the firm in late 2019 to become a U.S. senator from the state of Georgia. She lost her reelection bid in the 2020 cycle.

DISCLOSURE

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.