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商业 - 科技

比特币跌惨了,这家公司还在搞区块链收购

Shawn Tully 2019年01月16日

这家公司正在加快推进在线支付方式的革新,届时人们无论是买咖啡还是买车,购买方式或许都将与现在完全不同。

Bakkt是一家旨在使华尔街的比特币交易变得更加安全的虚拟货币交易公司。该公司近日进行的一笔收购表明,这家公司正在加快推进在线支付方式的革新,届时人们无论是买咖啡还是买车,购买方式或许都将与现在完全不同。

Bakkt是由纽交所的所有者创办的一家公司。本周一,该公司宣布将收购罗森塔尔柯林斯集团(RCG)旗下的部分资产。RCG是一家拥有百年历史的期货经纪公司,擅长通过银行清算所转移资金、处理抵押品以及指导交易,以最大程度降低违约风险。

2018年12月,有消息称RCG的消费者账户业务将出售给业内最大的玩家之一。Bakkt公司的CEO凯丽·莱夫勒在接受《财富》杂志采访时首次谈及了此次交易:“一般来说,两家公司合并时,有些系统会重叠,所以我们想收购一部分后台业务,包括合规管理、资金服务以及风险管理,此外也要添加一些RCG团队的成员。”因此,Bakkt实际上是收购了RCG的部分后台业务。

RCG以往主要关注机构方面。莱夫勒强调,Bakkt将把RCG的专长应用到一个全新的领域,以优化顾客和商家之间的支付模式。莱夫勒表示:“机构之间不是这样交易的。在我们打造Bakkt的过程中,这笔收购将对我们的消费业务提供帮助。”

Bakkt是于2018年年初成立的,它的主要投资者是纽交所的所有者洲际交易所(ICE)。在成立伊始,Bakkt便雄心勃勃地公布了一个此前从未有人实现过的计划——建立美国第一个受联邦政府全面监管的比特币交易和存储交易所。其目标是使比特币的交易变得更安全,使得华尔街银行和各大金融机构可以放心设立数字加密货币ETF基金和共同基金,以满足日益增长的交易需求——特别是在千禧一代中的需求。Bakkt公司认为,所有这些交易产生的“飞轮效应”将使比特币(或者另一种占主导地位的虚拟货币)转变成一种高流动性的商业货币,并消弥其价格的巨大波动性。

Bakkt公司的第二个也是同等重要的目标,是改革现有的零售支付系统。在目前的零售支付系统中,我们每在收银台支付1美元,商家都要支付高昂的手续费。莱夫勒对《财富》杂志表示:“区块链技术的发展,为数字资产在消费者和商家层面作为一种有效支付机制提供了新的可能性。”

那么,这个支付机制是如何工作的呢?“首先,它可以在移动应用程序中使用。”莱夫勒表示,Bakkt公司已经与星巴克合作构建相关模板。“想想现在的星巴克的应用,你可以在一个数字应用中预存或预付一定的金额。而我们则是通过比特币预先储值,目标是使消费者可以在购买数字货币或法定货币之间做出选择。”

2018年12月,莱夫勒宣布,Bakkt将把它的机构交易平台延迟至今年1月24日上线。同时她透露,Bakkt已经从12位投资者手中拉到了1.825亿美元融资,投资者包括香港富商李嘉诚、银河数字(Galaxy Digital)的迈克·诺沃格拉茨等。平台上线的时间要取决于监管审查的结果,而美国政府目前正陷入部分关门的状态,包括很多监管机构也是如此。Bakkt已经向美国商品期货交易委员会提交了申请,目前仍在等待批准。莱夫勒表示:“政府关门导致这个过程被延迟了。”

莱夫勒表示:Bakkt公司的野心还远不止于此。该公司已经开始进军海外,并且已经与部分国家的监管机构进行了商谈。除了美国洲际期货交易所外,ICE在全球还拥有多家世界知名的大宗商品交易所,如欧洲洲际期货交易所、新加坡洲际期货交易所等。莱夫勒表示:“Bakkt被设计成了一家全球化的公司。”到目前为止,在做面向华尔街和广大消费者的虚拟货币平台上,Bakkt也是下注最重的一个主要金融机构。

莱夫勒认为:“人们只狭隘地关注比特币的价格,但区块链和数字加密货币技术都在不断进步。”比特币市场当然需要一针强心剂,而Bakkt则很有可能带来这样一针强心剂。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

Bakkt aims to make Bitcoin trading safe for Wall Street. Now, a new acquisition confirms that the cryptocurrency trading company is speeding its plans to revolutionize the way people pay for everything from coffee to cars.

On Monday Bakkt, which was launched by the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, announced the acquisition of assets owned by Group, a century-old futures commissions merchant. As an FCM, Rosenthal Collins specializes in managing commodities accounts for investors and institutions by moving money, handling collateral, and steering trades through bank-owned clearinghouses with minimal risk of default.

In December 2018, it was announced that the consumer accounts franchise of RCG would be sold to one of the industry’s largest players, Marex. Bakkt’s CEO Kelly Loeffler tells Fortune in her first interview discussing the new deal, whose price wasn’t disclosed: “Typically when companies are combined you have overlapping systems, so we saw an opportunity to a purchase a portion of the back office operations, including compliance and treasury services, and risk management, as well as adding members of the RCG team.” Bakkt is essentially buying part of Rosenthal’s back office.

Rosenthal traditionally focused on the institutional side. Loeffler emphasizes that Bakkt will use its expertise in an entirely new area to support its vision for streamlining payments between customers and merchants. “It’s not so institutions can trade,” says Loeffler. “The acquisition will aid our consumer business as we build Bakkt.”

At its launch in early 2018, Bakkt––its majority investor is NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)––announced a never-before-achieved ambition in the digital world: to create the first fully-federally regulated exchange for trading and warehousing Bitcoin. Its goal was to make trading so safe for Wall Street that the big banks and institutions would create cryptocurrency ETFs and mutual fund to satisfy mushrooming demand, especially from millennials. The “flywheel effect” generated by all that trading, Bakkt reckons, will transform Bitcoin, or another dominant token, into a highly-liquid commercial currency, eliminating the gigantic gyrations in price.

From the start, Bakkt has harbored a second, parallel goal: To transform the retail payments system where merchants pay steep fees for every dollar you and I pay at the checkout counter. “The evolution of blockchain technology opens new possibilities for digital assets to serve as an an efficient payments mechanism at the consumer and merchant level,” Loeffler tells Fortune.

How would the payments work? “At first, it will be available for use in apps,” says Loeffler, noting that Bakkt is partnering with Starbucks to build the template. “Think about today’s Starbucks app. You can pre-fund a prepaid or stored value card with a digital app. The first use case is to pre-fund the cards, with Bitcoin. The goal is to give consumers the choice between purchasing with digital or fiat currency.”

In December 2018, Loeffler announced that Bakkt would delay the launch of its institutional trading platform until January 24. At the same time, she disclosed that Bakkt has raised $182.5 million from 12 investors, including such pioneers in backing cryptocurrencies as Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital. The timing of the launch is based on regulatory review, and the government is now partially shutdown, including the regulatory agencies. Bakkt has completed its application to the CFTC but awaits approval. “The government shutdown is delaying the process,” Loeffler says.

But Bakkt’s ambitions are greater than ever, Loeffler says. The startup is already going global and has begun discussions with regulators outside the U.S. ICE owns a number of the world’s biggest commodities exchanges besides ICE Futures US, the market that will handle domestic business, including ICE Futures Europe and ICE Futures Singapore. “Bakkt is being designed as a global business,” says Loeffler. Bakkt represents the biggest bet yet by a major financial player to bring crypto-currencies both to Wall Street and masses of consumers.

“People focus narrowly on Bitcoin’s price, but blockchain and crypto-currency technology keep advancing,” she says. Bitcoin certainly needs a boost; Bakkt could very well help provide it.

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