The newly appointed senator, Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.), will serve on the Senate Agricultural Committee, which is responsible for defining the CFTC’s remit and approving nominations for commissioners and chairmen. It also includes reauthorizing the CFTC as a federal regulator.
Loeffler was appointed CEO of Bakkt when it launched under its parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in August 2018. Under her leadership, Bakkt received approval from the CFTC to begin trading physically-settled bitcoin contracts, finally opening to traders in September. Loeffler, who only resigned her position in December to go into politics, is also married to Jeffrey Sprecher, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of ICE.
Regulatory concerns lay behind the nine-months delay to Bakkt’s launch. Speaking to CoinDesk in April, Christopher Giancarlo, the CFTC’s then-chairman, hinted about concerns surrounding the exchange’s plan to self-custody bitcoin as well as clear trades through its parent company’s clearinghouse.
At the time, Loeffler said the exchange would “continue to work with regulators to address the emerging global landscape for digital assets.”