Adam White quits as president of ICE’s crypto business Bakkt
Adam White resigned as president of ICE-backed crypto startup, Bakkt Holdings (NYSE:BKKT), nearly three years after taking the job.
Mr. White announced his departure on Twitter, posting: “I’ve loved working at intersection of crypto + markets and good to see the industry finding the balance between innovation & regulation. Lots of work still to do here but never been more optimistic about the future.”
Adam had originally joined Bakkt as its chief operating officer (COO) from Coinbase in 2018. White has been described as a prime architect of Coinbase’s growth, as he was the fifth person ever to join the now-giant cryptocurrency exchange.
In December 2019, he was elevated to serve as president of the company. In this role, Adam focused on digital asset markets, custody and trading, as well as Bakkt’s strategic direction. His breadth of experience in crypto markets, and his work as a founding executive at Bakkt, gave him a unique perspective that helped shape the platform’s business.
At the time, Bakkt had been adding new talents to build out its crypto platform, which aims to facilitate cryptocurrency trading for Wall Street firms in a way that is just as easy as trading traditional assets. This included poaching key executives from rivals.
Adam moved up alongside former CEO Mike Blandina after Kelly Loeffler—ICE chairman, CEO and Founder Jeffrey Sprecher’s wife—was appointed to a vacant Georgia Senate seat.
Loeffler had run Bakkt since its formal announcement in August 2018, overseeing the company as it worked to launch its physically delivered bitcoin futures products, the first such in the U.S.
Bakkt, which completed its reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company in October, bills itself as a “digital assets marketplace.” The company aims to grow its network from around 100,000 users now to more than 32 million users in five years. To achieve this ambitious goal, it has formed partnerships to tap into more than $1.6 trillion worth of digital assets across cryptocurrencies, gaming assets, gift cards, rewards/loyalty points, and more.
The list of its partners includes big names such as Alphabet, Mastercard and others. However, smaller businesses leverage the Bakkt platform to expand payment offerings, create new revenue streams and increase customer loyalty. Although its valuation remains under $1 billion, Bakkt expects its custody, futures and options businesses to generate more than $100 million in 2022 revenue.