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Bakkt CEO steps down after four months

By Lawrence Gash

Bitcoin futures exchange sees third CEO in four months

The CEO of Bakkt, the Bitcoin futures exchange owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has announced that he is stepping down from the role.

The exchange’s parent company said in a statement that its vice president for M&A, David Clifton, will serve as interim CEO, adding: "Clifton replaces Mike Blandina, who is leaving the company to pursue a new opportunity. Adam White, who was appointed President of Bakkt earlier this year, will continue in his role.”

Blandina’s departure may come as a surprise to many as he had only been in the job for four months. In December 2019 Kelly Loeffler stepped down as CEO following her appointment to the US Senate.

Furthermore, Bakkt is by no means faltering. Despite a sluggish start following its 2019 launch, the Bitcoin futures platform, which is backed by one of the largest exchanges in the US, has gone from strength to strength. Last month it completed a $300m Series B funding round and is currently testing a payment integration with Starbucks.

Blandina will hope to not enjoy as much controversy in his next position as his predecessor has in hers. Senator Kelly Loeffler has faced accusations of insider trading after she was revealed to have sold millions of dollars worth of stocks before March’s Covid-19 market sell-off, after attending a February briefing on the novel coronavirus.

The Georgia senator has strenuously denied any wrongdoing but has since divested herself from individual stocks “to move beyond the distraction” caused by her activity.

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