Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt to go public via SPAC

  • Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt is set to go public via merger with SPAC VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings.
  • In a CNBC interview, CEO Gavin Michael said that the company hopes to empower customers to “use their digital assets for everyday spending.”
  • Bakkt Holdings, Inc. will have an enterprise value of over $2 billion and expects to launch its flagship app in March.
  • The company has partnered with the likes of Chase, JetBlue, American Express, and Chipotle.
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Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings—a SPAC sponsored by Victory Park Capital—announced on Monday that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that will list the digital asset marketplace Baakt on the New York Stock Exchange.

Unlike initial public offerings, SPACs use mergers with ‘blank-check’ companies to bring a new public offering to market. In this case, Bakkt will merge with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings to form a new company called Baakt Holdings, Inc., which is set to have an enterprise value of $2.1 billion.

Bakkt got its start launching bitcoin futures and options at its parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, back in 2018. Now, the firm is set to launch an app where customers can track all their digital assets in one place, from rewards points to bitcoin.

More than 400,000 people have pre-registered for the Baakt app thus far, which is set for a March rollout.

The app’s goal is to make it easy for customers to convert digital assets in new ways, thereby increasing incremental consumer spending and bolstering loyalty programs for Baakt’s partners.

Thus far, Bakkt has partnered with the likes of Chase, JetBlue, American Express, and Chipotle to try and accomplish this goal.

This means consumers may be able to use credit card rewards points, loyalty program points, or even bitcoin to buy a cup of coffee via the Baakt app in coming years.  

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Whether it’s rewards points in an online account or bitcoin sitting on an exchange, many Americans hold digital assets of some kind even if they don’t know it. In fact, there are over 3.3 billion loyalty memberships that use online points in the US alone, according to Accenture. 

Bakkt’s CEO Gavin Michael, the former head of technology for Citigroup Inc.’s global consumer bank, hopes to enable Americans to more readily access and track these digital assets via the Bakkt app.

Michael sat down with CNBC’s Jim Cramer and Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeffrey Sprecher on Monday to discuss his business’ potential and the upcoming SPAC.

The former Citigroup head of technology said that Baakt was accelerating the shift to digital assets and payments—a market the company estimates to be worth over $1.2 trillion—and empowering customers to “use their digital assets for everyday spending.”

Only time will tell if the company will be able to accomplish this goal, but the move does bring together two of the hottest plays in the markets right now: SPACs and Bitcoin.

Baakt’s parent company Intercontinental exchange is up around 1% today, sitting at around $118 per share.

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