Coinbase executive departs for COO role at Bakkt

Adam White, the fifth employee to join Coinbase, will leave and join Bakkt in November as its chief operating officer.

One of Coinbase’s most senior executives is set to leave for a new role with Bakkt, the digital asset ecosystem and platform project due to be launched by US exchange operator ICE.

Adam White will join Bakkt in November as chief operating officer once the platform begins testing and onboarding clients. Trading and warehousing of digital assets on the platform is expected to follow in December upon gaining approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

White joined Coinbase as its fifth employee in 2013, overseeing the firm’s business development, corporate strategy and product marketing for the cryptocurrency exchange. Most recently he was appointed general manager where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations and strategic directions of the business.

“Our patent-pending market model is focused on mitigating risk while creating opportunities for institutions to serve their clients in a regulated framework for digital assets. This means creating a solution that both provides wanted exposure and limits unwanted exposure,” said Kelly Loeffler, ICE veteran and now CEO of Bakkt, in a statement announcing White’s appointment.

“Many of us share the view that a new asset class is forming and a framework for operating within these markets is welcome. The potential for product development is strong, as is the need for regulatory certainty.”

ICE first announced plans to for its cryptocurrency platform in August, drawing on support from non-financial organisations, including Microsoft and Starbucks, to launch a federally-regulated market and warehouse for digital assets.

Bakkt will initially be used for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies by both institutional and retail clients, and it will be based on Microsoft’s cloud technology.

“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, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets,” Jeff Sprecher, CEO of ICE, said at the time.