What is Bakkt?
Bakkt is a company that is building an exchange that is set to make it easy for consumers and financial institutions to buy and invest in digital assets. The application is being built for the global stage and is expected to promote seamless buying, selling and storing digital assets like Bitcoin and other altcoins. The Bakkt exchange is also supposedly working on a platform that will allow consumers and institutions to spend their assets as well. The firm emerged this year as a result of collaboration between the Intercontinental Exchange (who also happened to the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Microsoft, Starbucks, BCG, and others.
Bakkt is an exchange that is aiming to build an ecosystem around digital assets. The ecosystem will allow consumers and institutional investors to seamlessly invest in the digital asset space.
The ecosystem is essentially a place that consumers and institutional investors will be able to easily store, buy and spend their digital assets. The underlying core aim of Bakkt is to instill trust in the digital asset market by involving institutional investors, established exchanges and global retailers.
Bakkt is aiming to become a global ecosystem that will allow institutional investor and the average consumer buy, store and spend digital assets. The application aims to do this with the help of Microsoft. The application is going to be using Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions to create an open, regulated ecosystem for digital assets.
At the core of the entire project and application is the blockchain. The entire aim of the company is to act as a bridge between the retail world and the world of digital assets. The ecosystem is essentially bringing big chain retailers onto the blockchain and providing digital asset owners a marketplace to spend them. A major part of the project’s development would have involved the integration of the blockchain, marketplace and the cloud computing technology.
The application is also expected to work under the regulatory guidelines that are laid out by financial institutions and governments around the world. What this essentially means is that there will be different regulations and restrictions based on where the application is being used from.
The company is also working very closely with Boston Consulting Group and other companies to make sure that they get the best deal between technology and user interface.
The Bitcoin Use Case
The entire Bakkt initiative, backed by Intercontinental Exchange, is to integrate the world of digital assets into the day-to-day life of the consumer. By integrating digital assets, economies will move towards a more crypto existence. But up until now, the avenues for digital asset owners to spend their assets, were low, with very few retailers accepting Bitcoin and other altcoins as a valid payment.
But with the launch of Bakkt that is expected to change. The first use-case of the Bakkt application is the conversion of Bitcoin to fiat and back. This is being done because Bitcoin is slowly being recognised by industries and institutions as the “most liquid” digital asset in the market right now.
Since Bakkt is being backed by the Intercontinental Exchange, it is also expected that there will be a Bitcoin futures opportunity here. Subject to clearance from Commodity Futures Trading Commision, the initial component of Bakkt offering is said to be the launch of one day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with warehousing.
The cryptocurrency, since the huge bull that it saw in 2017, has been the center of attention of a lot of financial institutions and regulators because of its unheard off growth and profits. The Bakkt exchange is expected to be the first of many such applications trying to harness the potential of Bitcoin.
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Bakkt is the first cryptocurrency related company to come out of the USA with the backing of such high stature financial market players. The Bakkt company is backed by Intercontinental Exchange. Intercontinental Exchange owns and operated more than 20 regulated markets and exchanges, the exchange also owns multiple financial commodity exchanges.
The company is also being supported by Microsoft for all its technology needs. Boston Consulting Group is also helping out Bakkt in its new venture to become a global ecosystem and marketplace for digital asset consumers.
The company’s investors are also highly reputed firms in the industry and are expected to include names like; Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.
Being backed by ICE, Bakkt has also managed to strike some high-level partnerships with global retailers. Their flagship retailer deal is with none other than Starbucks. Being the flagship retailer, Starbucks is confident that they will be able to help in the practical development of the application and marketplace.
“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks. “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”
The company is expected to onboard more global retail chains similar to Starbucks, over the rest of the year. The idea is to get as many global retail chains as possible because to a large extent it solves their regulation restrictions in countries that are still undecided about the future of the market and the blockchain industry.
The company is currently preparing for the launch of their product. The launch is expected to happen in the first week of November. But before that, the company has promised to release more functional details about the application over the next couple of weeks.
The launch of this application will go a long way towards instilling a sense of trust in the cryptocurrency market and Bitcoin in particular. The very fact that this launch is a possibility and such huge names are willing to get behind it go to show just how much the market and industry have grown in the last ten years of its existence.
These are exciting times for the cryptocurrency market and a huge win for the industry because only fine things are expected when traditional financial institutions and the cryptocurrency market go head on for a great collaboration like Bakkt.
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