Georgia Governor Brian Kemp officially appointed Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, where she will fill current Senator Johnny Isakson’s seat.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that Kemp was considering Loeffler on Friday, with the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP and other outlets confirming its reporting earlier this week. Loeffler will take office on Jan. 1, 2020. Though Isakson’s term ends in January 2023, Loeffler will have to run for election next year if she intends to serve past January 2021.
Kemp appointed Loeffler, a Republican, against the reported wishes of President Donald Trump, who apparently expressed a preference for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.). However, Loeffler has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), according to Politico.
While Loeffler said she was “pro-Trump,” and in favor of his border wall, the Second Amendment and against abortion and socialism, she did not address crypto or bitcoin in her introductory remarks.
According to NPR, Kemp opened an online application process for the position after Isakson announced he would retire on Dec. 31, 2019 for health reasons. Loeffler applied for the position on the last day of the deadline.
(“While unorthodox, we opened the process to everyone,” Kemp said of the application.)
Loeffler has been the chief executive of Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange’s bitcoin-focused subsidiary, since the entity’s announcement in August 2018. Under her tenure, the company rolled out its physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts earlier this year.
Bakkt has more recently announced its intention to develop a consumer-facing mobile application for bitcoin payments, expanded custody services, as well as options and cash-settled futures contracts to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
It remains unclear who will take the helm at Bakkt after Loeffler takes up her new position on Jan. 1, 2020. However, current COO and former Coinbase executive Adam White would be a natural successor to the role. A spokesperson did not return a request for comment by press time.
A press release shared after this article was published congratulated Loeffler on her new role. While the release noted that she would be stepping down from her role at Bakkt before she is sworn in, it did not address who might take over the position.