The consumer app of ICE’s Bakkt that will be launched this summer will bring “accessibility, understanding, and utility to digital assets,” according to Paul Veradittakit, a partner at Pantera Capital, an institutional investor that recently contributed to Bakkt’s $300 million Series B funding.
In his blog post, Veradittakit said this is a “critical step” to boost the credibility of digital assets as legitimate and help “loop in mainstream users to the digital space.”
Launched in September 2019, Bakkt started as a regulated bitcoin custodian for institutional users but with its consumer app, it will expand its focus more broadly in order to include mainstream users. This, he said, “fits well with the broader financial trend of democratizing the space.”
In this app, a user will be able to manage all of their digital assets while being offered a checking account, rewards programs and much more. It will show why cryptos are useful, will drive user engagement, and identify new opportunities for both merchants and suppliers, Veradittakit said.
So far, the core product of Bakkt has been a digital wallet to manage all the digital assets from crypto, hotel stay points, game points, airplane miles, and USD. But they have plans for hosting equities and enabling equity trading as well.
Overall, the idea is to increase the accessibility to digital assets management and bolster mainstream interest and confidence in the crypto space.
In other news, the physical delivery of Bitcoin on Bakkt increased 44%, as of March 20.
“Physical BTC delivery on Bakkt increased 44% in March, although being relatively flat in USD. Despite the recent market instability, Bakkt seems relatively unaffected,” Arcane Research reported.
This has been despite the price of bitcoin falling to $3,850 in mid-March.
Bakkt, which started as the first platform to offer physical bitcoin delivery, had a rough start as it delivered only 15 Bitcoins in October and 17 the next month, however the trend seems to lift off this year. In December, it also launched cash-settled bitcoin futures.