- Bakkt Holdings soared as much as 451% this week after it partnered with Mastercard and Fiserv.
- The crypto exchange said it would enable merchants of Mastercard and Fiserv to utilize bitcoin for payments and other transactions.
- Bakkt Holdings is partially owned by the parent of the New York Stock Exchange and went public via SPAC earlier this month.
Shares of Bakkt Holdings, an up and coming crypto exchange that went public via SPAC earlier this month, more than quadrupled this week after it struck a deal with Mastercard and Fiserv to enable cryptocurrency transactions for its merchants.
The stock, which is partially owned by New York Stock Exchange parent Intercontinental Exchange, jumped as much as 65% in Tuesday morning trades, extending its two-day gains to more than 450%. The stock hit a high of $50.40 in pre-market trades before reversing lower in Tuesday’s trading session.
Under the deal with Mastercard, Bakkt will make it easier for merchants and banks partnered with the card payments processor to offer crypto transactions, crypto rewards, and crypto debit and credit cards to its end customers.
The deal, if fully utilized by merchants of the Mastercard network, has the potential to catapult cryptocurrencies into the mainstream in a way that the bitcoin ETF can’t: through bitcoin-tied debit cards and loyalty reward points paid in dogecoin.
Bakkt’s deal with Fiserv is of a similar magnitude as the Mastercard deal, and will “enable practical uses of crypto and emerging asset classes,” a press release said. The deal will allow merchants and financial institution clients of the Fiserv network to utilize cryptocurrencies for transactions, reward points, and storage in a digital asset wallet.
“Fiserv is in a unique position to connect merchants and financial institutions utilizing a unified digital asset platform, laying the foundation for an integrated digital asset ecosystem that can bring value and convenience to our clients and their customers,” said Fiserv’s head of fintech Sunil Sachdev.
Ultimately, the deals Bakkt struck with Mastercard and Fiserv have the potential to bring cryptocurrencies further into the real world by enabling crypto-centric transactions and reward points between everyday businesses and its customers.
That’d be a marked change from cryptocurrencies current status as a mainstream pop culture phenomenon that’s touted by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey on Twitter. Bringing cryptocurrencies into the real world through everyday transactions at your local coffee shop would extend its reach to everyday people that have had little exposure to the new asset class.
But buying products with cryptocurrencies could have its downsides, as it would be treated as a taxable event under its current classification rules by the IRS.
The partnerships between Bakkt and Mastercard and Fiserv come amid an epic bull market rally for various cryptocoins, including bitcoin, which is up more than 100% year-to-date and worth nearly $1.2 trillion.