In brief

  • Bakkt has raised $300 million in a Series B funding round led by major players, including Microsoft.
  • It appears to be expanding to a wider array of digital assets, such as loyalty rewards programs and in-game currencies.
  • The Bakkt app will allow users to exchange digital assets tied up in closed corporate systems for cash.

Even as markets continue to plunge, panicked by the spread of the coronavirus global pandemic, one crypto company nonetheless continues “building its warchest.”

Bakkt, the company behind the first regulated Bitcoin options and cash-settled futures, announced a $300 million Series B on Monday, led by major players such as Microsoft, Bakkt’s owners in the Intercontinental Exchange, and PayU, among others.

With their growing funding, the company appears to be shifting from its initial focus on Bitcoin to a wider array of digital assets, such as consumer loyalty points, in-game currencies, cryptocurrency, and cash. “Despite the size of this market, consumers still find digital assets to be difficult to access, confusing to keep track of, and challenging to use,” Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina said in a Medium post.

One of the appealing features of the upcoming Bakkt consumer app is that it will allow users to exchange things like loyalty rewards and in-game currencies, which are normally non-fungible and stuck within corporate systems, for cash. 

“I’m excited at our potential to unlock nearly $1 trillion of digital assets when the Bakkt app launches this summer,” Blandina said.

As Bakkt continues to expand, it said it has so far partnered with 4,500 loyalty and incentives programs, including seven major financial institutions and two major US airlines.

This comes as cryptocurrency markets remain in a standstill as the US stock market continues to plummet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average today dropped by another 2,000 points. Meanwhile, the crypto market lost $20 billion more in total market capitalization over the weekend. It has lost more than $120 billion in the past week.

Nevertheless, Bakkt appears prepared to capture the attention of any investors who may still see Bitcoin and other digital assets as a safe haven in times of crisis.