Cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt to go public at $2.1b valuation

The deal would see Bakkt merging with a SPAC, and list on New York Stock Exchange
bakkt

Digital assets trading platform Bakkt will make its stock market debut at a valuation of about $2.1 billion.

Global exchanges operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) said on Monday that it will merge its digital assets marketplace, Bakkt, with Victory Park Capital’s special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings.

A SPAC is a blank cheque company that raises money to buy or merge with another company, so that the other company does not have to go through the long process of listing itself in the stock exchanges. 

VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings had its IPO in September last year.

Bakkt appoints new CEO

ICE also said that Gavin Michael, the former head of technology at Citi’s Global Consumer Bank, will be joining Bakkt and taking over from David Clifton as Bakkt’s new Chief Executive Officer. 

“The average consumer holds a wealth of digital assets but rarely tracks their value and lacks the tools to manage and utilize them,” Michael said in a statement. He added that through Bakkt, he wants to give consumers a place to “unlock trillions of dollars” in value. 

Michael had also previously worked as Chief Technology Innovation Officer at Accenture.

Secured app to trade digital assests

The merged entity is expected to have over $500 million in cash. It will use a part of the proceedings to accelerate the development of a retail-focused consumer application called Bakkt App. The app will provide a secure and regulated marketplace for its users to trade digital assets. The app will also focus on reducing transaction costs and creating a rewards program for users. 

Bakkt App is presently available on an invite-only basis. It has over 400,000 consumers signed up for its early access. The app is planned to be publicly available from March this year.

Bakkt was launched by ICE in 2018 as a platform to buy, sell and store digital assets. In three years, it has emerged as a major player in trading of cryptocurrency assets.

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