In what might be considered one of the biggest news headlines of 2018, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) – operator of major global exchanges including the NYSE, recently announced the launch of the Bakkt platform. Bakkt aims to become a global platform and ecosystem for digital assets, which should be a big push for cryptocurrency mainstream adoption. The Bakkt ecosystem, which is scheduled to launch in November, will offer a federally regulated market and warehousing for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer applications.
Bakkt, which is planning to leverage Microsoft’s cloud solutions, is also working closely with Microsoft, Starbucks and BCG, among others to create a platform for both retail investors and institutions to buy, sell, spend and store cryptocurrencies. Importantly, Starbucks will play a huge role in helping build trusted payment applications for converting cryptocurrencies into US dollars. The collaboration with Starbucks will indeed be beneficial for Bakkt as well as for the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Coming from one of the most powerful corporations on Wall Street, many analysts expected the news to have a huge impact on the market. However, Bitcoin prices failed to provide any relief to investors. The BTC price fell to a low of $6940 yesterday before recovering to $7008 at the time of writing (Source: Coinmarketcap). The Bitcoin dominance, though, continues to rise with 47.4% of the market share.
While the magnitude of the news may have been big, the Bakkt platform launch is still subject to regulatory approvals. The lack of excitement in the market suggests that investors are preferring to have a ‘wait and watch’ approach since regulators have been inconsistent with their stand towards cryptocurrencies. At the peak bull market of 2017, any such news would have led to a huge spike in the Bitcoin price. However, the current downward trend indicates the lack of retail interest in the market.
Recently, even Coinbase announced new feature releases which will help online merchants accept cryptocurrency payments. With institutional investors slowly coming into the space, it is only a matter of time before the market picks up again, this time led by institutions before retail investors. Plenty of exciting times lie ahead for the cryptocurrency space. Keep calm and HODL!