Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, is set to be appointed as the new U.S. senator of Georgia. According to CBS News, a source familiar with the plan confirmed the news, saying the decision would become effective on Jan. 1, 2020. While it’s still unclear who would succeed Loeffler as the head of Bakkt, her stint in the U.S. Senate could prove to be invaluable to the crypto industry.
Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) backed crypto derivatives market Bakkt, was named U.S. Senator representing Georgia, making her the second woman in the state’s history to hold the position, CNN also reported.
Kelly might be a good ally for the crypto-verse
Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, will be Kemp’s pick for the vacant seat. A financial industry veteran, Loeffler will receive the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee despite not being endorsed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
When appointed, Loeffler will become the second female U.S. senator in Georgia’s history. The political newcomer is said to have been chosen for the seat to attract a specific group of voters that the Republican party is desperately missing.
Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols, who also applied for the seat, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Governor Kemp made the right decision by choosing Loeffler.
This isn’t the first time the long-time Republican donor had her eyes on the U.S. Senate. Back in 2014, Loeffler considered running for the Georgia seat but ultimately backed down as the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), who Loeffler was the vice president of, was going through the acquisition of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Loeffler joined ICE in 2002 and oversaw the company’s investor relations, marketing, and communication operations for 16 years. When ICE launched its bitcoin subsidiary Bakkt in August 2018, she took charge as the startup’s CEO. Under her leadership, Bakkt launched physically- and cash-settled bitcoin futures in September and November.
Kelly accused of political corruption
Conservatives have also voiced concerns over Loeffler’s affiliation with Grady Health, which runs one of the biggest training programs for abortion providers in the state, and whose doctors have led campaigns against Kemp’s pro-life legislative agenda. In addition, Loeffler is the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), which donated a portion of its 2018 ticket sales to Planned Parenthood.
As the CEO of one of a handful of regulated companies offering crypto derivatives trading, Loeffler is set to bring a fresh perspective of the industry to the very top of U.S. politics.
But, while the crypto industry is looking forward to having a powerful ally in the Senate, Loeffler’s political opponents accused both her and the Republican party of corruption.
A spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called Loeffler’s appointment a “corrupt coronation” and accused her of buying her Senate seat with political donations.
To appease criticism, Loeffler depicted herself as a political “outsider” just like Trump and pledged her loyalty to conservatism during a speech from the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
“I haven’t spent my life trying to get to Washington. But here’s what folks are gonna find out about me: I’m a lifelong conservative. Pro-Second Amendment. Pro-military. Pro-wall. And pro-Trump,” she said. “I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump’s conservative judges.”