Former Bakkt CEO becomes U.S. Congressman, Chief Product Officer takes over

Bakkt, an Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) focused bitcoin business, has promoted its chief product officer, Mike Blandina, to chief executive officer.

Blandina succeeds Kelly Loeffler, who was formally appointed as U.S. Senator by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp earlier this month. Blandina has taken on this new role since December 20.


ICE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher said:

"As CEO, Mike will plan Bakkt's strategic direction, payment products and markets, and oversee the company's management and financial performance."

Blandina joined Bakkt earlier this year and has served as an executive at PayPal, Google and other well-known payment companies.

Bakkt Chief Operating Officer Adam White has been named president. Earlier, it was speculated that White, a former Coinbase executive, would take over from Loeffler. Sprecher said White's new role "will focus on the digital asset market, custody and trading, and Bakkt's strategic direction."

During Loeffler's tenure, Bakkt launched bitcoin futures contracts for physical settlement and cash settlement, as well as bitcoin options. Loeffler has worked for ICE for almost 16 years, and Sprecher, who fought alongside her, is her husband. She joined Bakkt last year as CEO. She is now preparing to serve as a legislator in Georgia from January 2020.

Bakkt also recently stepped into the hosting business and announced plans to launch cryptocurrency consumer applications and merchant portals in the first half of 2020. After the app goes live, Starbucks will become its partner.

In a Monday announcement, Bakkt said that in fact, bitcoin futures contracts for physical delivery set a new record, with a total of 6,226 settlements, an increase of more than 25% from previous records. The company stated:

"Bakkt plans to use this momentum in 2020 to launch a product roadmap that includes new transaction products, large-scale hosting services, innovative consumer payment applications, and other innovations to be announced."