Former Goldman Sachs partner Michael Novogratz recently remarked that the cryptocurrency market will eventually recover as there’s “tons” of development work going on “under the hood.”
Realizing having tweeted about crypto in a while. It’s a grind. Don’t think we head north for at least a few more months. Always take longer for institutions to move. Very confident they will. Tons of activity under the hood. Stay the course.— Michael Novogratz (@novogratz) February 1, 2019
As the CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd, a New York-based firm focused on the digital assets industry (ticker: GLXY), Novogratz recently acquired $5.5 million of additional shares of the merchant banking institution that he founded. Notably, Novogratz’s fairly large purchase has come at a time when the cryptocurrency market has not shown any signs of recovery.
Although the Princeton University graduate does not think cryptocurrency prices will “head north for at least a few months”, he is “very confident” that the market will pick up again. Commenting on how he expects greater institutional involvement in crypto in the next few months, Novogratz explained that it usually “takes longer” for institutions “to move.”
Indeed, Bakkt, a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) that will focus on cryptocurrency trading and investments, might be doing plenty of development work “under the hood”, as Novogratz has suggested. In its first fundraiser, Bakkt managed to acquire $182.5 million in investment capital from investors who “believe in the future of digital assets.”
"Collaborating With Great Companies Like Starbucks"
Bakkt’s investors reportedly include Microsoft’s venture capital division, Pantera Capital, Galaxy Digital, Horizon Ventures, CMT Digital, Protocol Ventures, among several others. Last year, Kelly Loeffler, the CEO at Bakkt, explained:
[Currently, Bakkt’s focus] is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts.
Although Bakkt’s official launch has been postponed due partly to the US government shutdown and other delays in the regulatory approval process by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), there appear to be some positive developments. In late December 2018, Loeffler revealed large clearinghouses and other major customers “continued to join” Bakkt’s initiative. More recently, Bakkt posted ten new open positions to its website as its looking to increase the size of its workforce despite the indefinite delay in the launch of its bitcoin futures exchange.
Nasdaq, Citigroup Lead $20 Million Investment Round
Meanwhile, Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange with over a $10 trillion market capitalization, recently revealed that it has approved seven different digital asset exchanges to begin working with its proprietary surveillance technology. After Nasdaq itself appeared to have begun laying the groundwork last year to launch crypto-related products and services, the stock market giant is now reportedly helping various crypto exchanges incorporate technology that will prevent fraud and market manipulation.
Last week, Nasdaq, Citigroup Inc., and Galaxy Digital Holdings led a $20 million series B funding round which will aid in the development of Symbiont.io, a New York-based firm focused on leveraging blockchain technology to improve traditional capital markets.
Adena Friedman, Nasdaq’s CEO and president, said earlier this month that she believes digital assets will play a key role in the future global economy. She noted that “the invention itself [of cryptoassets] is a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity.”