Bakkt Hires PayPal and Google Veteran as Chief Product Officer

Bakkt

Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt has a new chief product officer. Announced via Medium earlier today, the exchange has added Mike Blandina to its team.

Bakkt Hires New CPO

In previous years, Blandina has worked at PayPal where he served as head of payments and credit engineering. He has also been director of engineering for Google Wallet.

In most recent years, Blandina was chief technology officer and product and engineering at OneMarket. CEO of Bakkt Kelly Loeffler wrote in the blog post:

“As our CPO, Mike will lead our efforts to converge a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payments use cases, two elements of Bakkt that help bring real-world applications to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”

Development

Bakkt is still awaiting regulatory approval in order to launch. It has faced multiple delays already with the initial launch expected back in November. However, in Loeffler’s posting, she said that “race day is approaching.” This comment has led some to wonder if the team has more clarity on its regulatory situation that it has yet to disclose.

She wrote further:

“As a former marathoner, this point in time recalls the stage in the training regimen when you’re putting in long runs with your training team […] there is more work to be done […] I’m proud to be going the distance with this growing team and of the culture we are building, while bringing digital assets into the mainstream economy.”

What is Bakkt?

Bakkt wants to offer a federally regulated market for Bitcoin, transforming Bitcoin into a trusted global currency with broad usage.

>> Coinbase Card: Now You Can Spend Your Crypto Instantly

Its main goal is to make Bitcoin a secure offering for the biggest global financial institutions that currently shun it. Bakkt is looking to create a path for these major money managers to offer Bitcoin pension funds, mutual funds, and ETFs as highly regulated, mainstream investments.

Approval

As stated, Bakkt is still waiting on approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to list its Bitcoin futures contract. One major consideration for the CFTC is that Bakkt’s proposal would see it warehousing its own Bitcoin. This may be one cause for delay.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © nevarpp

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