On Wednesday (June 10), Galaxy Digital and Bakkt announced that they are partnering to "launch a collaborative white-glove service for asset managers looking to acquire, build positions in and store bitcoin ("BTC")."
Galaxy Digital is the crypto-focused merchant bank founded and headed by Bitcoin bull and former Goldman Sachs partner Michael Novogratz. It is headquartered in New York City, but it also has offices in San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands (registered office), and New Jersey.
Bakkt is the crypto custodian and Bitcoin derivatives exchange subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Bakkt was announced by ICE on 3 August 2018. Bakkt serves its institutional customers via the Bakkt Warehouse and the Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts.
The joint press release stated that Galaxy Digital Trading ("GDT"), Galaxy Digital's affiliate, is "providing market access and trading capabilities" while qualified custodian Bakkt Warehouse -- which is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) -- is "safeguarding digital assets for clients."
It went on to say that "this direct connectivity between Galaxy Digital and Bakkt enables the two companies to offer clients best-in-class efficiency through the entire process of onboarding, trade execution and storage of their digital assets."
Tim Plakas, Head of Sales at Galaxy Digital Trading, had this to say:
"We designed this partnership to service the uptick in demand our two firms have received from traditional asset managers seeking access to physical bitcoin.
"These funds expect the same caliber of market knowledge and trade execution expertise in BTC as they would expect from any established traditional finance desk, and Galaxy provides that, while Bakkt delivers the high level of regulatory-compliant security required for storing digital assets.
"Together, Galaxy Digital and Bakkt offer a safe, efficient, and well-regulated route into physical bitcoin access, one that has been already proven successful in the macro hedge fund space...
"Asset managers and hedge funds considering this service can be assured by the high standards we hold as a publicly-traded company with audited, public financial statements and an institutional-sized balance sheet."
And John Conneely, Head of Custody Business Development at Bakkt, said:
"Alongside our adoption of safekeeping requirements that are unique to the digital asset class and its infrastructure, the Bakkt Warehouse uses the same best-in-class, trusted enterprise security framework that protects ICE's dozen exchanges around the world, including the New York Stock Exchange.
"As one of the largest trading operations in the digital asset space, Galaxy Digital's execution expertise and Bakkt's custody solution are highly complementary."