Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) parent company, revealed on Friday that it’s planning to launch a new company called Bakkt. According to ICE, Bakkt will aim to “leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.”

This new crypto initiative will reportedly involve giant companies including Microsoft, Starbucks, and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Bakkt’s main objective will be to offer a comprehensive digital asset platform through which retail consumers and financial institutions can access an e-commerce system to “buy, sell, store, and spend” cryptocurrencies

“Scalable On-Ramp” For Institutions, Merchants, Consumers

The announcement further described the new crypto platform as a “scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation” in the evolving digital assets economy. Moreover, Bakkt’s infrastructure will be designed to enable “greater efficiency, security, and utility” for its end users, ICE noted.

It’s expected that the Bakkt digital currency platform will allow users to access “federally regulated markets”, warehousing services, and customized applications designed specifically for merchants and consumers.

Use cases for cryptocurrencies, in addition to more practical applications, are increasingly being developed “alongside regulatory frameworks and rising investment in blockchain technology”, the announcement states. Notably, KPMG has revealed that investments in the blockchain sector during 2018 have already surpassed those made in 2017, ICE’s report pointed out.

“Trusted Market Infrastructure”

Given these developments, Bakkt intends to utilize “trusted market infrastructure” to assist the cryptocurrency market and industry in improving its security standards and enabling it operate more efficiently.

Jeffrey C. Sprecher, the founder and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) stated,

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.

ICE’s US-based clearing house and futures exchange will reportedly offer a “1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract”, in addition to “physical warehousing” by November 2018, the announcement said. However, the launch of this service will depend on whether it’s approved by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Moreover, ICE revealed that its clearing house is planning to launch a “separate guarantee fund”, which will be backed by Bakkt. The giant exchange also plans to introduce “new protocols for managing the specific security and settlement requirements of digital currencies.”