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Tom Lee: Bakkt Brings the Legitimacy Bitcoin’s Always Craved

Last Updated March 21, 2023 6:28 AM
Will Heasman
Last Updated March 21, 2023 6:28 AM

Bitcoin aficionado and Fundstrat cofounder Tom Lee says he’s more bullish on the crypto sector than ever, remarking that Bakkt’s imminent launch could bring some much-needed legitimacy to the market.

Lee tweeted  that Bakkt’s launch should bode well for the highly-lauded hopes of institutional involvement in the cryptocurrency industry.

a screenshot of a tweet with a picture of a bitcoin
Tom Lee looks forward to the launch of Bakkt and the legitimacy it will bring | Source: Twitter

Lee’s assertation that Bakkt’s launch may improve the trustworthiness of the industry will be music to many crypto enthusiasts’ ears. Institutional involvement and the capital potential they bring has been a quasi-Holy Grail for the cryptocurrency community for quite some time.

For years, stigma involving bitcoin’s connection to illicit activities such as money laundering, manipulation, and terrorism has hindered the hopes of adoption. Now, it seems, this tired rhetoric is finally subsiding as retail and institutional investors alike begin to see the light.

Bakkt Is Almost Ready for Lift-Off

In just three days, Bakkt will launch, bringing with it a slew of institutional-grade features such as a bitcoin custodial service, as well as physically-settled BTC futures contracts. What’s more, Bakkt is literally backed by a plethora of companies, including Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Starbucks, and Microsoft.

Several weeks ago, the firm began readying for lift-off when it launched the Bakkt Warehouse. This month, the firm opened up deposits and withdrawals ahead of offering bitcoin futures trading.

a tweet with an image of a wave
The Bakkt Warehouse has already gone live. | Source: Twitter

While the BTC price has remained relatively limp in the last few months, Bakkt’s entry is expected to change that.

Notably, its launch seems to be corresponding with the apex of an ostensibly bullish technical pattern. Raoul Pal was among the first to spot this formation, noting the wedge at the start of the month:

Grow up, Bitcoin!

However, despite improving sentiment among retail investors, institutions, and companies, there remains one tough nut to crack.

Speaking  at Delivering Alpha this week, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton remarked upon bitcoin’s infancy, suggesting that BTC wouldn’t hit a major exchange anytime soon.

“If [investors] think there’s the same rigor around that price discovery as there is on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange … they are sorely mistaken … We have to get to a place where we can be confident that trading is better regulated.”

This, however, is not all too surprising. Clayton has been hard on crypto in the past, pushing the manipulation rhetoric time and time again.

Regardless, Clayton can’t stop the crypto industry from continuing to infiltrate Wall Street. Bitcoin is listed – albeit in a derivative state not subject to SEC regulations – on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Moreover, with the launch of Bakkt, institutional investors will finally have access to a regulated, physically-settled bitcoin futures product.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.