Bakkt is a bitcoin futures exchange and digital assets platform founded in 2018 by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Bakkt initially planned to open its futures exchange in 2018 but postponed its launch due to the volume of interest and the work required to prepare its services. The launch of the futures exchange was subsequently delayed several times due to regulatory issues, reportedly pertaining to asset custody. Bakkt began testing its platform in July 2019 while waiting for regulatory approval to take the platform live. Bakkt was able to release its bitcoin futures platform in September 2019, although the volume on the exchange following the release was much lower than anticipated.
Bakkt partnered with multiple organizations to build its platform, including Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Microsoft and Starbucks. Bakkt’s goal is for people to use cryptocurrencies in everyday life seamlessly over its network. Further, the company has partnered with major investment groups, including Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, and Susquehanna International Group, with the aim of building a path for major money managers to offer bitcoin mutual funds, pension funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
In 2019, Bakkt announced it bought Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) to bolster its crypto asset custody and storage. At the same time, the company said it was working closely with global bank BNY Mellon to develop private key storage solutions.