Jeff Sprecher, the Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Exchange [ICE] announced that the firm’s digital asset platform, Bakkt will be expecting a launch later in 2019. Sprecher made this announcement during an earnings call on Thursday, reported the Toshi Times.
While discussing ICE’s financial results for Q4 and the year of 2018, Sprecher disclosed that the company spent over $1 billion on strategic initiatives, which also included its launch of the digital asset platform.
ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and operates in 23 leading global exchanges. The Chief Financial Officer [CFO] of the company, Scott Hill, further shared his expectations on the investments Bakkt will be bringing in, as per its current financial review.
“And finally, our investment in Bakkt will generate $20 million to $25 million of expense based upon the run rate in the first quarter. We will update you on progress at Bakkt and the level of investment as we move through the year.”
When Sprecher was asked about the returns or revenue growth expected from the recent investments, including Bakkt, he described the crypto platform as a “moonshot bet” for ICE. He claimed:
“So it’s a bit of a moonshot bet and it’s been organized in a manner that is very different than the way ICE typically does businesses […] They’re well along in building out an infrastructure that I think you’ll see launch later this year.”
Sprecher clarified that Bakkt is independent of ICE as it has its own team and infrastructure. The CEO further informed that the project has independently garnered the attention of high-profile investors and partners, including Starbucks and Microsoft, reported CoinTelegraph.
The publication reported Hill concluding that Bakkt is more of a long-term project instead of a 2019-focused agenda. Hill said:
“I think Bakkt is really an investment […] That’s more about the future and revenue and market opportunities that we see in the future and less about 2019 topline”.
Bakkt was announced in August 2018 by ICE and was set to launch in early 2019. However, the date was postponed due to ongoing deliberations with the United States Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.
ICE had on 9 February announced the finalization of its acquisition of assets in futures commission merchant Rosenthal Collins Group.