Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, has appointed David Clifton as Interim CEO of Bakkt, the digital assets trading and payments platform that is majority-owned by ICE. 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.
Clifton, currently ICE’s Vice President, M&A and Integration, joined ICE in 2008, serving previously as Associate General Counsel, M&A. During his tenure, Clifton has played a leading role in the company’s deals, including the 2013 acquisition of NYSE Euronext, among other global strategic initiatives and transactions. Clifton received his JD from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law and is a graduate of Davidson College. In his interim role at Bakkt, Clifton will focus on completing the integration of Bridge2 Solutions, which Bakkt acquired earlier this year, while also driving forward Bakkt’s growth initiatives.
“David Clifton has been deeply engaged in many of our most important initiatives over the years and, after helping to lead the acquisition of Bridge2 to accelerate the rollout of Bakkt’s consumer application, I know he will provide outstanding leadership for Bakkt as its Interim CEO,” said Jeffrey Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ICE. “I also want to express our gratitude to Mike Blandina for his work to help grow Bakkt during an important transformational period for the company and wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”
Since its launch, Bakkt has focused on building trust in and unlocking the value of digital assets. In 2019, Bakkt launched with ICE Futures U.S., the first fully regulated bitcoin futures and options market. That market is supported by the Bakkt Warehouse, a regulated bitcoin custody offering that allows institutions around the world to safeguard their assets using Bakkt’s enterprise-grade technology and infrastructure.
Last month, Bakkt completed its Series B round of funding, raising an additional $300 million of capital from Intercontinental Exchange and other leading software companies and venture firms. As part of that funding, Bakkt acquired Bridge2 Solutions, a provider to loyalty programs of 7 of the top 10 financial institutions and 2 of the largest U.S. airlines, in addition to supporting another 4,500 loyalty and incentive programs. Bridge2 Solutions will help accelerate the development of the Bakkt consumer application, which will provide digital asset aggregation, conversion, and payments through a single platform for consumers globally.