Bakkt, an up-and-coming crypto platform with visions of grandeur, has recently suffered regulatory setbacks. Yet, the Microsoft-backed initiative has continued to make strides, recently calling for an array of talent to joins its side.
Bitcoin Upstart Hiring Eight
On Tuesday morning, Bakkt, a U.S.-headquartered crypto initiative that has the backing of NYSE parent the Intercontinental Exchange & Starbucks, took to its well-followed Twitter feed to divulge a number of company vacancies.
We're hiring: https://t.co/CZ86BflOe4
— Bakkt (@Bakkt) January 22, 2019
As revealed on Bakkt’s website, the company is looking to hire eight individuals for a handful of stints, including blockchain & security engineers, full stack developer, an essential director of finance, and an institutional sales team member. It wasn’t divulged what is being created, but it can be assumed that this recent push for talent is integral to Bakkt’s raison d’etre of creating a scalable on-ramp into crypto for retail investors, merchants, and (arguably) most importantly, institutions.
Interestingly, the company is looking for a mobile developer, who will “design and develop a high-performance, scalable mobile application” presumably for crypto exchange/wallet use. However, this is unconfirmed hearsay. Regardless, considering Bakkt’s public comments, a fully-fledged exchange solution has long been in the works.
This hiring spree comes months after Bakkt brought on Adam White, Coinbase Institutional’s former head and the firm’s fifth ever employee (he purportedly built GDAX), to become its chief operating officer.
No Holds Barred
As reported by Live Coin Watch previously, even amid a wider crypto industry downturn, with upstarts laying off hundreds and Bitcoin rapidly losing value, on New Year’s Eve, ICE revealed that Bakkt will be deferred.
Bakkt’s first product, physically-backed Bitcoin futures, was slated to go live by 2018’s end. Yet, after some deliberation and internal shortcomings, the vehicle’s inaugural trading day was pushed back until late-January, and again just recently.
In an ICE-stamped document, firm it was divulged late-January launch will be “amended pursuant to the [U.S.] CFTC’s process and timeline.” And while this statement was nebulous, considering that “early 2019” was mentioned, along with the fact that the CFTC has been historically amicable with crypto, Bakkt isn’t fini.
Far from. In fact, the company has continued ahead, with no holds barred. On the same day, just hours after the moratorium news propagated, Kelly Loeffler, the chief executive at Bakkt, took to Medium to reveal that her company secured a $182.5 million cheque.
Loeffler, wed to the head of ICE, stated that Bakkt has completed its first round of funding. 12 partners and investors, including Boston Consulting Group, Mike Novogratz‘s Galaxy Digital, ICE, Microsoft’s venture arm, and San Francisco-based Pantera all made capital allocations. This is one of the highest-valued crypto-centric fundraising rounds ever. (What bear market, eh?)
The Bakkt chief went on to divulge “Bakkt’s 2019 objective,” which is to provide new infrastructure, “including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage.”
And, mere weeks after that announcement, Bakkt made its first acquisition with its check of venture-sourced greenbacks, purchasing “certain assets” of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) to bolster its offerings.
So make no mistake, Bakkt isn’t dead in the water. In fact, some would say it is frolicking in the Bitcoin fields.
Wall Street To Foray Into Crypto
Jeff Berwick, the so-called Dollar Vigilante, recently told BlockTV that he expects for 2019 to beckon in the arrival of institutionally-sourced money, which will “change the game completely.” He told the blockchain-friendly content platform that as institutional capital becomes a common sight in coming months, cryptocurrency prices en bloc will “explode,” as there are presumed trillions waiting on the sidelines.
Other institutional-centric platforms may have been stealing Bakkt’s thunder, but the ICE venture will likely be the first to come to market. Therefore, it’s arguably the most important.