Atlanta-based Bakkt, a digital asset trading desk launched by Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), the owner of the $22.9 trillion New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is preparing to release a consumer-facing application to help retail consumers conduct crypto transactions, the company revealed on October 28.
According to a blog post published by Bakkt chief product officer Mike Blandina, the digital assets company has been developing an app that lets users make transactions with cryptocurrencies when buying products from various merchants.
“We’ll be launching a consumer app to make it easy for consumers to discover and unlock the value of digital assets, as well as ways in which they can transact or track them. Merchants gain access to a broader set of customers with expanded spending power.”
Blandina, a former VP of engineering at PayPal, appeared to suggest that Bakkt’s new app might support other crypto assets, besides only Bitcoin, which is the only cryptocurrency that the company and its parent firm ICE offer futures contracts for.
“A key feature of the model we’ve designed is to support a superset of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies as seamlessly as investors transact in stocks in a retail brokerage account. Our vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio, whether they wish to store, transact, trade or transfer their assets.”
ICE first revealed it would be launching Bakkt in August of last year. The company stated that would be partnering with Starbucks and various other firms to offer a retail experience. However, Bakkt’s management has not shared details regarding this initiative.
The update on October 28 noted that Starbucks would be Bakkt’s first official launch partner when the app goes live at some point next year.
“I have strong conviction that by driving more integration and efficiency across digital wallets, transaction processing and payment acceptance, there are meaningful opportunities for merchants and consumers to seamlessly interact using digital assets in ways that have not been previously considered.”
“It is often said that digital assets will be successful when consumers don’t have to think about the technology underlying them.”