New Crypto Exchange Bakkt Taps Ex-Coinbase VP Adam White as COO

White will become the main operating executive in November when new IE project starts testing its services.

The upcoming Bakkt crypto trading platform, owned by New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)’s parent company IE, has officially announced Adam White, the former vice president of Coinbase, as its chief operating officer (COO). White, who left Coinbase earlier this month, is due to take responsibility of Bakkt’s daily operations in November, Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of the new IE crypto project said in a blog post on Monday.

White was Coinbase VP since the exchange’s establishment in 2013, beginning with heading business development and product management. In2016, he took control of Coinbase Institutional, the division that targets big traditional financial players such as hedge funds.

Under White leadership, Coinbase has introduced various new services in a bid to open the mainly retail-orientated exchange towards institutional players. That experience was key for White’s hiring at Bakkt as IE created the new crypto platform with the aim to target Wall Street investors.

Speaking to the US magazine Fortune about his new position, White said that large participants in the traditional financial space are ready to dig into the digital asset industry, mainly because of the strong interest among millennials.

“In 2017, I saw a big shift. The interest in Bitcoin and other currencies started changing from retail to the institutional side,” White told Fortune.

“But the level of infrastructure of the existing trading sites often didn’t meet their expectations. That’s why they’re waiting on the sidelines.”

According to White, the recent virtual coin price plunges and spikes creates a false impression about the real interest in the market. Trading volumes and blockchain development are the real indicators for the state of the crypto industry.

Bakkt Launch

Bakkt will open a test period next month with a full launch to follow in December, Loeffler explained in the post on Monday. The trading venue will offer physically-delivered Bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts versus fiat currencies including US dollar, British pound, and euro. Bakkt is still in the process of obtaining an approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“A new, separate guaranty fund for Bitcoin, fully funded by Bakkt and ICE, helps ensure that non-defaulting clearing member capital is not at risk in the waterfall,” Loeffler wrote in the post.

Earlier this month, New York trading venue trueEX revealed a plan for physically delivered BTC swaps in its forthcoming trueDigita crypto exchange.