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Bitcoin has been the poster boy of cryptocurrencies ever since it rose to fame in 2016. It peaked in Dec 2017 when it was valued at nearly $20,000. However, mere weeks after reaching that record high, Bitcoin and along with it, prices of other cryptocurrencies plummeted in Jan 2018. Throughout the year of 2018, Bitcoin has struggled to recover however; it never even came close to its peak in 2017. This situation has made majority of crypto world nervous about its future. But cryptocurrency pundits and experts still insist that Bitcoin and other crypto assets are here to stay.
CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and chair of the New York Stock Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher is a strong believer of Bitcoin’s survival through these tough times. When speaking to the Consensus Invest conference in New York on Tuesday, he mentioned that he had seen news articles that were doubtful of the survival of digital assets. “I’d say the unequivocal answer is yes… We’re kind of agnostic to price.” He was quoted when answering the question of “Will digital assets survive?”
His wife and CEO of cryptocurrency platform Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler accompanied Mr. Jeffrey. ICE owns Bakkt and Bakkt is expected to launch in Jan 2019. “The Bakkt futures contract will help Bitcoin traders establish a trusted price. Bitcoin now trades at different prices on different exchanges, many of which are unregulated.” Kelly Loeffler quoted when talking about the Bakkt Futures contract offering. Bakkt was set to start working next month however, its launch date was shifted to Jan. 24, 2019. Loeffler was off the view that delaying the rollout will give more people time to get on board.
ICE also announced its plans to offer traders contracts that would eventually result in customers owning BTC. ICE has been in talks with other financial institutions about setting up a new operation through which banks can buy a contract that will end with customer owning Bitcoin the next day, with the backing and security of the exchange.
With Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies struggling all year, digital asset owners consider Bakkt rollout to be a good sign. It’s perhaps one of the most important institutional move that will give hope to the current hodlers who are still sticking with cryptocurrencies. Pascal Gauthier is the president of Ledger, a crypto wallet company. He was quoted saying in an interview since, “At the very least, it’s a good sign that major institutions are doubling down on their investments, even as price drops.” This comes at a time when there’s been an air of nervousness and unease in the crypto market.
While blockchain technology continues to seep into other mainstream industries, the future of cryptocurrencies is not yet set in stone. With its dangling prices that are often, more likely to drop than rise, Bitcoin and other crypto assets like it, are always on their toes. This move by ICE and NYSE comes as a ray of hope.