Bakkt, the cryptocurrency trading platform launched by the Intercontinental Exchange, is planning to launch a consumer-focused app in the first half of 2020 to enable retail customers to make transactions with cryptocurrencies.
Consumer Adoption Ambitions
In an ambitious move to enable the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, Bakkt Chief Product Officer Mike Blandina said in a blog post: “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.” Balinda added that the app may support more assets than just Bitcoin (BTC), currently the only supported coin on Bakkt’s platform.
The post gave no concrete launch date; however, the international coffee chain Starbucks will be the first retailer to trial the service. When ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, first announced Bakkt last year, Starbucks was revealed as a retail partner in a deal that will see the coffee store receive a generous equity share, despite not making a cash investment in the crypto trading platform.
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Bakkt Recovering From Slow Start
The launch of Bakkt was one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the crypto sphere in 2019; however, trading volumes in the early days of the platform massively underwhelmed. Just 623 Bitcoin futures contracts were traded in the first week following the launch, accounting for about $5 million USD. Comparably, Bakkt’s closest rival, the CME, traded over 4,000 contracts on September 27, at a total value of $165 million CAD.
Bakkt has since picked up from its sluggish start and is on course to treble its all-time high for trade volume after hitting new records last week. According to data from the Bakkt Volume Bot on Twitter, October 26 saw 1,183 futures contracts traded, at a total value of $11 million USD.
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