24K production / Getty Images
The Bakkt encryption platform, which allows consumers, businesses and institutions to buy, sell, spend, send and redeem digital assets, went public today on the New York Stock Exchange. under the ticker symbol “BKKT”.
See: Starbucks, Best Buy and more: Using the Bakkt App to Pay with Bitcoin
Find: Bitcoin at $ 60,000 with ETF (likely) Bitcoin Futures
“It’s an important time for our teams to recognize how far we’ve come and we know we have a lot more to do to realize our vision,” Gavin Michael, CEO of Bakkt, told GOBankingRates. “As we move forward, we will be doing more of what is already underway. Build a larger partner ecosystem, expand the digital assets we capture and deliver, and scale in a growing space. “
Earlier this month, the company announced a partnership with Google, which allows users to add their virtual Visa Bakkt debit card to Google Pay to purchase goods and services online or in-store. Digital assets such as Bitcoin will be converted into fiat currency for these payments to occur, according to a statement.
Bakkt, which was launched in 2018 by Intercontinental Exchange, announced in January that it plans to go public, with an enterprise value of around $ 2.1 billion, according to the announcement. Bakkt’s public listing follows the merger of the business combination with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, a Chicago-based Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
Bitcoin Foundation Chairman Brock Pierce told GOBankingRates that Bakkt is another milestone in the industry “for a major crypto custodian company to be available to public investors now.”
“The strength of the institutional investors involved is another sign of how important it is for businesses and consumers to pay attention to the space,” said Pierce.
The company says its goal is to lower barriers to entry into cryptocurrency and launch partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands and add value to consumers’ digital assets by making their programs more attractive rewards and loyalty, according to a blog post on her website This Morning.
The message states that Bakkt’s customers fall into three broad categories: “Consumers, Businesses and Institutions”.
For consumers, “the platform enables consumers to leverage their digital assets – from bitcoin to the selection of loyalty points, gift cards and merchant offers – in new and exciting ways.
“From buying your morning cup of coffee with crypto to converting some loyalty points into cash, exchanging airline miles for a new laptop, sending cryptocurrency or cards – gifts to family and friends, the possibilities are only limited to the imagination. “
A spokesperson for Bakkt explains that the brands it partners with include Choice Hotels, Wyndham, Finastra, Starbucks and Quiznos. The Bakkt app, launched in March, for example allows Choice Privileges members to convert their unused reward points to cash, then convert that money into bitcoin, transfer to friends with the ‘Send’ function, or send it to friends. ” use to purchase everyday goods and services online or in stores anywhere Apple Pay or Google Pay is accepted.
When it comes to Starbucks, customers can use Bakkt to reload their Starbucks Card, which gives them a new payment choice as they can convert supported loyalty and reward points, bitcoins, frequent flyer miles, and gift cards in the Bakkt app in USD to then top up their Starbucks. Card saved in the Starbucks app.
Bakkt claims that its platform enables businesses and traders to extend engagement with customers by providing crypto services, which in turn, can build loyalty.
When it comes to institutions, the company says it is looking for its secure infrastructure and capabilities to access cryptocurrency markets, products and digital asset ecosystems.
“We are providing regulatory clarity, better price discovery (through our bitcoin futures contracts) and more effective risk management tools for our clients,” the post said.
See: AMC will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash by year-end
Find: Bitcoin’s Great Week Ends With George Soros Saying He Owns Crypto
Bakkt follows several other platforms that have become public in recent months, including Coinbase in April, one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year, followed by Robinhood in April.
More from GOBankingTaux