The Intercontinental Exchange, the parent corporation of the New York Stock Exchange, has announced a new platform, Bakkt, which will list a physically settled one day bitcoin futures product.

ICE will serve as the custodian for all assets stored on the Bakkt platform, in the expectation that institutional investors (pension funds, endowments, insurers) will be less hesitant, given this unimpeachable custodianship, to place a bet on an asset class of which they otherwise might still be wary.

This could be a very big step in the mainstreaming of Bitcoin. Bakkt will “seek to develop open technology to connect existing market and merchant infrastructure to the blockchain.”

Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, has been the chief communications officer of ICE for 18 years, and before that — at the turn of the millennium — she was an equity research associate at William Blair.