Digital assets platform Bakkt today announced it will sunset its consumer app to focus on direct interaction with businesses, providing them “with crypto and loyalty experiences for their customers through SaaS and API solutions.”
The app will be officially discontinued on March 16.
“We are sunsetting our consumer App because it is not core to our B2B2C approach,” Bakkt’s Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Mark Elliot told Decrypt. “This approach ensures we are supporting the relationship our partners and clients have with their customers, rather than competing in any way.”
Launched in March 2021 as a Bitcoin-only product, with Ethereum support added later that same year, Bakkt’s consumer app sought to allow users to buy and sell crypto, purchase gift cards, as well as to spend their coins in shops to aggregate rewards. Some of the more than 200 brands that partnered with Bakkt included Starbucks, Best Buy, Choice Hotels, Fiserv, and GolfNow.
Today’s announcement follows Bakkt’s agreement to acquire crypto trading platform Apex Crypto from Apex Fintech Solutions in November last year in a $200 million deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023 and is subject to regulatory approvals, with Bakkt saying at the time that the acquisition will “significantly bolster” the company’s cryptocurrency product offering “and expand its footprint into additional client verticals including fintechs, trading app platforms, and neo-banks.”
Bakkt’s new web experience
Despite the shift, Bakkt’s new offering will still include some of the existing app’s functionality, with users being able “to view their cash and crypto balances, buy and sell crypto, withdraw cash to a qualifying bank account and access crypto transaction reports for their tax purposes,” said Elliot.
According to the company’s summary of changes, the Bakkt Visa debit card will decline new transactions starting March 16, as well as the ability to send cash or crypto to a friend, purchase and manage gift cards, and track loyalty programs and track points.
“Going forward, the web platform may also be utilized by crypto rewards and crypto payout customers to manage their crypto, but that will be determined on a case by case basis because many partners opt for fully embedded experiences,“ Ellit told Decrypt.
Owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Bakkt debuted in September 2019 with the mission of making Bitcoin mainstream, having raised $482.5 million in venture funding to date.
Among the firm’s first products were physically-settled Bitcoin futures that provide institutional investors with another way to bet on the price of the leading cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin options added later that same year.
In September 2021, Bakkt went public on the NYSE with the IPO price of BKKT shares of $10.00. The company’s stock is down 85% since then, currently trading at $1.48.