Kelly Loeffler, the former CEO of Bakkt, has recently taken a seat in the U.S. Senate for the state of Georgia. Reports have it, though, that she is also assigned to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee with the CFTC. Given that her husband is the CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), this could raise concerns about a potential conflict of interest.
Bakkt’s Former CEO Sits In A CFTC Committee
Kelly Loeffler quickly became one of the most influential people within the cryptocurrency space. She used to be the Chief Executive Officer of Bakkt – the Bitcoin futures trading platform launched by ICE.
The latter is also the owner of the New York Stock Exchange. Bakkt’s regulated nature, as well as institutional approach, raised a lot of hopes that it will serve as a bridge between Bitcoin and larger investors. Given that its volume is increasing continuously, this could indicate that institutional interest really is on the rise.
However, as Cryptopotato documented, Loeffler has recently taken a seat in the U.S. Senate for the state of Georgia.
Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that she is also assigned to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The Committee is responsible for defining the CFTC’s approving nominations and remit for chairmen and commissioners.
Perhaps rightfully so, the news brought up certain concerns that this might cause a conflict of interest. This stems from the fact that her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher is the founder, chairman, and CEO of ICE.
Cause For Concern?
Loeffler’s appointment to the committee did, in fact, raise a few eyebrows. However, she was quick to dismiss them, saying that she had “worked hard to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the Senate’s ethics rules and will continue to do so every day.”
To this, she also added:
“I will recuse myself if needed on a case by case basis.”
It’s true that Loeffler stepped down from her CEO position at Bakkt as soon as she occupied the Senate seat. On her place now sits Mike Blandina, who has previously taken leadership positions in PayPal, Google, and other major companies.
However, it’s also worth noting that Bakkt has been granted approval from the CFTC to offer its cryptocurrency-settled Bitcoin futures contract.
Most of the concerns, however, seem to be stemming from her relationship with the CEO of ICE, rather than her previous position at Bakkt.
Featured image courtesy of Time