Loeffler’s old Bitcoin platform going public

Bakkt was established in 2018 by IntercontinentalExchange as a platform to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is married to the CEO of ICE, Jeffrey Sprecher, was CEO of Bakkt until she joined the Senate.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Bakkt was established in 2018 by IntercontinentalExchange as a platform to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is married to the CEO of ICE, Jeffrey Sprecher, was CEO of Bakkt until she joined the Senate.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Credit: Richard Drew

Credit: Richard Drew

Bakkt names new CEO, will be acquired by Chicago firm

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency trading platform that Kelly Loeffler headed before entering the U.S. Senate, will soon trade its own shares in the stock market.

Victory Park Capital, based in Chicago, agreed to acquire Bakkt through the formation of a special-purpose acquisition company, according to a Monday news release. Bakkt shares will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with an estimated value of $2.1 billion. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

On Monday, Bakkt named former Citigroup executive Gavin Michael as CEO. A Bakkt spokeswoman said Loeffler will not return to the company.

Loeffler had been CEO of Bakkt since August 2018, when it was established by the Atlanta company IntercontinentalExchange, also known as ICE. Loeffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, the CEO of ICE, which owns the New York Stock Exchange.

Loeffler was named to the U.S. Senate in January 2020 to fill the remaining term of Johnny Isakson. She conceded on Thursday to Raphael Warnock in her re-election bid.

Victory Park is acquiring Bakkt just as it plans to introduce a smartphone app that will allow users to make payments with bitcoin and allow points from retail-loyalty programs to be converted into digital currencies.

The price of a single bitcoin had risen to $41,962 on Friday, the highest price in its history, according to industry publication CoinDesk. That capped a 318% gain since Labor Day. However, the price tanked this weekend, falling to $31,454 per bitcoin as of Monday morning.

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