Bakkt Hires Former PayPal And Google Engineer As Its Chief Product Officer


Bakkt, a digital assets exchange platform backed by NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has announced that a former Paypal and Google expert is joining its team as the new chief product officer (CPO).

The Bitcoin Futures platform revealed on April 11 that it had hired Mike Blandina, a vastly experienced engineering executive who has worked with such giants as PayPal and Google.

With over 20 year’s experience, Blandina has served as PayPal’s chief payments officer as well as its lead credit engineering. He has also worked for Google Wallet, heading its engineering team.

Most recently, Bakkt’s new CPO was at startup OneMarket as its chief technology officer (CTO). The blog post announcing his hiring also notes that Blandina headed the firm’s product and engineering department.

Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler noted in the blog post that the new CPO will play an important role in spearheading Bakkt’s efforts at converging “a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payments use cases.”

According to Loeffler, the above elements are central to Bakkt as it looks to enable real-life application of bitcoin and other cryptos.

The platform itself has faced several delays since first announcing that it would launch operations early this year. The wait for regulatory approval continues to put the anticipated roll out in limbo, but according to Loeffler, Bakkt’s development is akin to preparations that go into a marathon.

She compared the preparations to the “training regimen” that involves putting in long hours of practice, before adding that “race day” was nigh.

Noting that the platform is still a work in progress, Loeffler said that she is buoyed by the fact that they are “going the distance.” She added that the firm’s growing team was building a culture and at the same time taking crypto mainstream.

Bakkt hopes the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will soon approve its application to offer a Bitcoin futures contract. The firm plans to custody its own bitcoin, a factor that could have played on CFTC’s decision to delay the approval as it assesses the proposal.

The team remains undaunted, with Loeffler noting that the infrastructure in development at the firm has the potential to transform the digital assets space.

The company wants to create an environment through which the industry can leverage relevance and trust to achieve wider growth.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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