Bakkt Update: Consumer App Is Coming, Starbucks Partnership Takes Shape

The intrigue around Bakkt and the scale of their operations continues to take shape. Not only are all of the ‘levers’ in place; given that their parent company and full scale architectrue backed by ICE and its myriad commodities platforms – but the Starbucks partnership has always held significant intrigue. Today’s Medium post begins to shed some light on what that will look like.

“While users are exposed to digital assets including bitcoin, cashbacks and rewards, Bakkt highlighted their efforts in supporting “a superset of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies as seamlessly as investors transact in stocks in a retail brokerage account.” Moreover, the company also shared its vision is to provide a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio, “whether they wish to store, transact, trade or transfer their assets.”

“Based on his past experiences, Mike Blandina, Bakkt’s Chief Product Officer mentioned, that by driving more integration and efficiency across digital wallets, transaction processing and payment acceptance, “there are meaningful opportunities for merchants and consumers to seamlessly interact using digital assets in ways that have not been previously considered.” To sum up Bakkt’s efforts, Blandina said that Bakkt’s focus will be on four key areas: digital asset infrastructure, marketplace access, maximizing control and establishing trust.”

Starbucks remains the largest app based payments ecosystem in the United States – boasting better than 27M users – larger than Apple pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay. Bakkt hitching its consumer facing strategy to Starbucks is as good a decision as we’ve seen in the crypto space; remarkable even. 

The relative ‘efficacy’ of the partnership is yet to be seen, and it should be said that the partnership with Microsoft focused on things like encryption and user funds safety may ultimately be the bigger deal. Still, the branding cache’ and headlines play really, really well.

You’d do well to never bet against Sprecher and his squad, They have a long history of winning in the financial markets. So far, even with the delays, Bakkt remains in an enviable position.