Jan 2, 2019

Bitcoin futures platform Bakkt raises $182 million

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Bakkt, a digital assets and Bitcoin futures platform founded by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), raised $182.5 million in first-round funding.

Why it matters: The battered Bitcoin community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of a physically settled futures market with the institutional imprimatur of ICE, which also owns the New York Stock Exchange. But Bakkt's funding announcement was married to another delay. Original plans were to go live in November, which was then pushed back to Jan. 24 and now is TBD as Bakkt awaits permission from a CFTC that is in government shutdown mode.

  • Investors include ICE, Horizon Ventures, Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, M12, Pantera Capital, Naspers and Protocol Ventures.
  • The bottom line: "The path to developing new markets is rarely linear: progress tends to modulate between innovation, dismissal, reinvention, and, finally, acceptance," says Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler.

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Louisiana governor says state will run out of ventilators on April 9

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that modeling projects his state will run out of ventilators for coronavirus patients on April 9 and hospital beds on April 11.

Why it matters: New York is the only state in the country with a worse per-capita death rate than Louisiana, where around 12,500 people have been infected and 409 have been killed.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 312,245 — Total deaths: 8,503 — Total recoveries: 15,021Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
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  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
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Trump sees "sooner rather than later" return of pro sports

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump predicted yesterday that the Republican National Convention will open as scheduled in Charlotte on Aug. 24 — "We have no contingency plan" — setting a new bar for a phased return to business in America.

The big picture: With the virus peak for New York projected as Thursday, and for the nation as April 15 (a week from Wednesday), Trump continued trying to leaven dire warnings with a sunny streak.