Business

Steve Kaaru

Bakkt acquires crypto custody startup as it awaits regulatory approval

Bakkt may have had its progress stalled by regulatory uncertainty, but it’s still making major moves. The firm announced that it had acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC), a startup that offers crypto custody solutions that mainly target institutional clients. Bakkt has also applied to the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to become a trust company.

Making the announcement on a blog post, Bakkt’s COO Adam White reiterated the company’s commitment to providing the most secure crypto platform globally. This was the main factor that led Bakkt to acquire DACC, he said.

“It is with that same commitment to setting a new standard for securely storing digital assets that we’re excited to announce that we have acquired Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC). DACC shares our security-first mindset and brings extensive experience offering secure, scalable custody solutions to institutional clients.”

DACC currently supports 13 blockchains and 100+ assets. This will prove invaluable as Bakkt seeks to become a one-stop shop for institutional crypto investors. The DACC team will also provide great insight and experience for Bakkt, White added.

The former Coinbase executive also revealed that Bakkt has been working with the Bank of New York, Mellon “to offer geographically-distributed storage of private keys secured by the bank.” Bakkt chose BNY Mellon as it has a long track record of safeguarding assets for institutional clients.

Bakkt is still following up on its flagship product, a physically-delivered bitcoin future. With this in mind, the firm has applied to become a trust company with the NYDFS. This will allow it to serve as a qualified custodian for digital assets. Coinbase previously acquired this license which allowed it to launch Coinbase Custody.

And it’s not just the institutional clients that Bakkt intends to target. The firm, which is owned by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), will also process retail transactions.

And while some have previously thought that Bakkt was out to launch a crypto exchange, White insisted that the focus has been on safeguarding customers’ assets.

Kelly Loeffler, Bakkt’s CEO backed up her colleague, insisting that this was the plan from the beginning. Speaking to Fortune, she said:

“There is no pivot. From the ground up what ICE has been building for two years is the safest version of a custody solution for digital assets.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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