Intercontinental Exchange’s high-profile Bitcoin project, Bakkt, has faced severe pushback from the CFTC due to a fundamental concern about how its cryptocurrency assets will be stored. In response, Bakkt is looking to obtain a BitLicense and manage custody of the coins themselves.
Unfortunately for ICE and associates, BitLicenses can take years to receive.
Bitstamp waited over three years to receive a BitLicense, which give crypto firms permission to operate in New York. The state’s Department of Financial Services has picked up the pace of issuing BitLicenses, but all the same, fewer than 20 have been issued to date. About two dozen companies filed applications after the BitLicense was announced in 2015, and not all of them have received responses yet. More have filed since then, but there’s no telling how long it could take for their approval or denial.
Of course, being the owner of the New York Stock Exchange might help Intercontinental Exchange cut through the red tape and get to the front of the line. It wouldn’t be the first time an insider company had managed to obtain regulatory approval ahead of everyone else.