The crypto landscape changed dramatically when Bitcoin futures were introduced in late 2017. Since then there has been more interest by institutions offering a greater diversity of products. Bakkt is the latest to emerge on the scene and it has grand plans for unlocking the value of digital assets.
Building trust in crypto
In a recent company blog post, Chief Product Officer, Mike Blandina, outlines a vision that builds trust in digital assets.
He added that there was a need for trusted, compliant infrastructure to build confidence and efficiency for merchants, consumers, and institutions to participate more actively in Bitcoin and crypto markets.
At the moment active participation still requires a level of technical know-how that is beyond many people. There is also a lot of mainstream media misinformation which is also off-putting for many.
Add to that the lack of payment options for digital assets and it is easy to see why they are still largely speculative.
As soon as cryptocurrencies can be used to make payments on a daily basis via a simple interface they will go mainstream pretty quickly.
Bakkt has a grand plan to resolve this by offering a platform that offers cryptocurrency storage, trading, and payment options.
“Our vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio, whether they wish to store, transact, trade or transfer their assets,” Blandina wrote.
He added that through his vast experience working with payments companies, he can bring more to the table in order to integrate digital assets, payment platforms, and transaction processing.
Blandina noted that there are opportunities for merchants and consumers to seamlessly interact using cryptocurrencies in ways that have not been previously considered, adding that they will be successful when users don’t have to think about the technology underlying them.
Crypto payments are the key
There are four key areas that the firm is addressing to achieve this goal. First is a digital asset infrastructure and enterprise-grade payments platform for merchants. The more merchants that accept cryptocurrency, the more people will start using it.
Naturally, a consumer app will also be needed and Bakkt has one of those in the pipeline too.
This will maximize control for consumers while delivering more control over costs and innovative customer engagement for merchants.
A key to both of these elements is the establishment of trust which is one of the things currently preventing the crypto industry from growing even faster.
“We’re now focused on the development of the consumer app and merchant portal, as well as testing with our first launch partner, Starbucks, which we expect in the first half of next year,” Blandina said.
Bakkt gaining momentum
Despite all of the preceding hype and anticipation, the launch of Bakkt had relatively little impact on the crypto markets due, in part, to the fact that most of its clients had already been on-boarded.
The real impact will come over time as the product offerings and investor base grow.
Although it got off to an underwhelming start with just 71 Bitcoin futures contracts traded on its first day, Bakkt has been steadily gaining momentum over the past week and a half, posting multiple new all-time high trading volumes.
On Friday, Bakkt had its best performance day to date, with 1183 traded contracts changing hands on the platform.
ICYMI: Friday's Bakkt Bitcoin Monthly Futures:
💸 Traded contracts: 1183 (+257%) (New ATH 🚀)
📈 Day before: 331
🚀 All time high: 1183
— Bakkt Volume Bot (@BakktBot) October 26, 2019
Bakkt also announced the launch of Bitcoin options on December 9, 2019. According to the release, the options have been self-certified with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) by ICE Futures U.S.