(Reuters) – Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE.N), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, said on Friday it plans to form a company and trading platform for digital assets, such as bitcoin, as well as a physically delivered bitcoin futures contract.
A screen displays the ticker symbol and logo for Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE) on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) March 1, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The exchange and clearinghouse operator said the new platform would be built using Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) cloud technology and work with companies including Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) and Boston Consulting Group to enable consumers to trade, store and spend cryptocurrencies.
ICE did not give a launch date for the new company, called Bakkt, and said further details would be announced in the coming weeks.
However, it plans to launch a one-day physically delivered bitcoin futures contract and warehousing through its U.S.-based futures exchange and clearinghouse in November, subject to approval by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
ICE’s cryptocurrency plans could play a significant role in helping the marketplace for the nascent asset class mature, as it continues to draw more interest from traditional financial institutions.
“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale,” ICE Chief Executive Jeffrey Sprecher said.
Baakt will be led by Kelly Loeffler, a senior ICE executive and Sprecher’s wife.
ICE’s plans follow the…