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Companies exploring crypto at 'slightly more conservative pace': Bakkt CEO

·Senior Reporter
·2-min read

Crypto platform Bakkt (BKKT) says the multinational companies it works with still have interest in crypto, but are moving at a slower pace as the plunge in crypto assets has swept markets this year.

"There's still strong interest and momentum with our partners, many of whom are multinational companies… They understand the peaks and troughs that we're seeing," Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael told Yahoo Finance Live in an interview. "[But] we are anticipating that the partners may move at a slightly more conservative pace. They're being more thoughtful about how they enter the crypto economy."

Since the beginning of 2022, the total market cap of all crypto assets has declined roughly 50%, from around $2.2 trillion in early January to just north of $1.1 trillion today, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Gavin Michael, CEO of Bakkt, speaks with Specialist Gennaro Saporito during the listing of Bakkt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 18, 2021.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Gavin Michael, CEO of Bakkt, speaks with Specialist Gennaro Saporito during the listing of Bakkt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Still, Michael says Bakkt, which operates a crypto trading platform for institutional investors, expects customers to remain engaged with its crypto services in the second half of the year, and expects a significant ramp-up through 2023.

"We're seeing this change in narrative, if you like, from crypto being viewed simply as an investable asset to a more widespread utility across consumers, across businesses, and across institutions," Michael said. "So our work is about working with our partners to really unleash [crypto's] functionality and its full utility."

Meanwhile, despite the swoon in crypto prices, Michael says the company — which also operates an app for consumers to manage and spend crypto — sees consumer interest in crypto remaining solid. A recent Morning Consult study that showed only a 3% drop in adults considering purchasing crypto through January and June of this year.

Bakkt just announced a new partnership with Visa and has an existing partnership with Mastercard to offer crypto debit and credit cards, making it easier for consumers to pay using digital coins. With the Mastercard partnership, companies are also able to offer crypto as part of their loyalty reward programs backed by Bakkt.

Bakkt's revenue rose 60% in the second quarter, driven in large part by sales growth from consumers redeeming loyalty points for crypto.

"We're seeing consumers who value their loyalty points even more in this challenging economic environment," says Michael. "They see it as a way to offset rising costs."

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