Intercontinental Exchange-backed crypto startup Bakkt has launched its mobile app to allow users to store their crypto holdings and make payments for goods across selected merchants.
The newly-launched wallet will enable users to explore various opportunities within the app, including converting reward points to bitcoin (BTC), the announcement reads.
Notably, Bakkt plans to deploy the initiative to enhance users’ spending habits, reduce payment costs, and boost merchants’ loyalty programs.
Commenting on the development, Gavin Michael, Bakkt’s CEO, said before now there are many people who have access to various digital assets, ranging from gift cards to loyalty points, but do not have the means to explore their values.
The app’s beta version was initially unveiled to only 500,000 users who participated in an invitation-only Early Access Program, as the firm made the finishing touches in preparation for a public debut.
After a series of tests, the app is now available for public use, which can be downloaded on both Android and IOS devices.
“We’re thrilled to bring the Bakkt app to the public as a step along our journey to expand digital asset access to all,” Michael said.
Bakkt Partners Starbucks and Others
Per the announcement, Bakkt also partnered with a handful of merchants, including Starbucks, GolfNow, Best Buy, Choice Hotels, and Fiserv, to give users access to more value. Choice Hotels, GoflNow and Fiserv will allow their customers to convert loyalty rewards into U.S. dollars (USD) and make payments for goods. At Starbucks, Bakkt customers can convert their digital assets into U.S. dollars and then reload their Starbucks Card through the Starbucks app
The development comes amid calls to woo global merchants into accepting cryptocurrency forms of payment. Despite the widespread adoption of crypto for investment purposes, there has been a shortage in its use for payments, as merchants seem scared about the assets’ high volatility nature.
Although quite a number of vendors, like electric car maker Tesla, have recently announced support for bitcoin payments, merchants are still finding it difficult to add crypto to their payment offerings.
While crypto use in payments could lead to losses when its price dips, it could also give merchants massive gains, should its value increase.
Meanwhile, earlier today, California-based payment provider, PayPal announced that its U.S. customers can now pay for goods using crypto across its 29 million global merchants.
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