Adam White left Coinbase to found Bakkt, which has struggled in recent months to find a strategic direction and has recently announced his departure from Bakkt.
Adam White departs Bekkt
On Thursday, Adam White, the founder, and president of the digital assets and rewards platform Bakkt, announced his departure from the firm via Twitter.
Bakkt, a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the financial behemoth that operates the New York Stock Exchange, is in a state of flux as a result of his departure.
White, an Air Force veteran who rose to prominence in the crypto industry as one of Coinbase’s earliest employees, did not provide specific reasons for his resignation or indicate what he plans to do next, instead only stating that he is “optimistic about the future.”
After a great 3+ years at bakkt, next week will be my last
I’ve loved working at intersection of crypto + markets and good to see the industry finding the balance between innovation & regulation. Lots of work still to do here but never been more optimistic about the future 🌕
— Adam White (@WhiteAdamL) December 23, 2021
White did not react to a Twitter message seeking specifics on his future intentions right away.
His departure from Bakkt comes as the company’s stock price has plummeted since it went public in October via a reverse merger known as a SPAC. While the company’s stock rose to as high as $50 at one point, it has now fallen to under $9 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, despite the overall crypto market’s rise, Bakkt has struggled to carve out a niche for itself. Bakkt bragged when it first debuted that it would use its Wall Street connections to help bring Bitcoin and cryptocurrency into the mainstream, in part by collaborating closely with authorities.
After more than three years, that ambition has been realized in a product that combines a range of digital assets into a single wallet, including Bitcoin, gift cards, airline miles, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
However, it’s uncertain whether such a product would be in high demand, or whether Bakkt will be able to distinguish it out in the rapidly changing crypto scene.
Bekkt’s current CEO, Gavin Michael, is to re-energize the company
Bakkt’s ties to ICE should have provided a strategic advantage in principle, but they might also have bogged the company down with politics and bureaucracy.
Despite the fact that White would have been a natural option to manage the company, Bakkt chose Kelly Loeffler, the wife of ICE’s millionaire CEO Jeffrey Sprecher, as its first CEO.
Loeffler left Bakkt in early 2020 after being chosen to fill a seat in the United States Senate, earning a $9 million compensation in the process. After attempting to remake herself as a Trumpist firebrand, Loeffler lost her seat to a Democrat in the November 2020 election.
Bakkt has announced partnerships with Starbucks and Apple Pay in recent months, as part of current CEO Gavin Michael’s efforts to re-energize the company.