Investors such as Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s M12, PayU, Boston Consulting Group, Goldfinch Partners, CMT Digital, and Pantera Capital have thrown their hat in the ring for Bakkt, who claim they are the keys to unlocking some $1.2+ trillion of digital assets currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value.
Bakkt, a product of the same company the launched the New York Stock Exchange, claims they will enable institutional, merchant and consumer access to digital assets in a secure, trusted ecosystem with an open platform for all manner of cryptocurrency services, including trading and warehousing. Backers include Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Protocol Ventures, Susquehanna International Group, Horizons Ventures, BCG, Microsoft, and Starbucks, who will be the first major merchant to work with Bakkt on ways to convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks.
Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina writes in the Bakkt blog:
“At Bakkt, we take a broad view of digital assets. Digital assets include things as diverse as loyalty and rewards points, in-game assets, merchant stored value, and cryptocurrencies, and collectively represent nearly $1 trillion in consumer spending power. Despite the size of this market, consumers still find digital assets to be difficult to access, confusing to keep track of, and challenging to use.”
“Bakkt gives users control over their digital assets. Whether it’s miles from your favourite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet. In just a few taps you can use those assets to shop at your favourite merchants, send them to family and friends, or convert them to cash. We believe that you hold more value than you realize and we’re here to help you track, spend, and send your digital assets however you want.”
“I’m excited at our potential to unlock nearly $1 trillion of digital assets when the Bakkt app launches this summer. With the completion of our Series B financing and recent acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, Bakkt is now a team of 350 employees and powers the loyalty redemption programs for 7 of the top 10 financial institutions and over 4,500 loyalty and incentive programs including two of the largest US airlines. We have the unique opportunity to leverage the technology, infrastructure and partners across our businesses to bring innovative new products to market and in doing so expand access to the global economy.”
Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Merchants within the Bakkt ecosystem see a lower cost of payment acceptance, enhanced customer engagement, and decreased loyalty liability through a variety of redemption options.