Intercontinental Exchange Co., Ltd. (ICE) will publicize its cryptocurrency business by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company. This transaction will further achieve its goal of launching consumer applications for trading and using digital assets for payments.
The two companies said on Monday that after completing the merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, the joint venture named Bakkt is expected to be valued at $2.1 billion.
The transaction brings together two of the hottest industries in the market today: cryptocurrency and SPAC. According to data from data provider SPACInsider, this was the largest digital currency last week, breaking through $40,000 for the first time last week, and SPAC experienced the largest ever in 2020, raising a record $83 billion in new shares. SPAC, also known as blank check company, is a tool for publicly raising cash for mergers and acquisitions.
As part of the transaction, Bakkt will raise an additional US$532 million from VPC funds and raise capital at the same time. This will support the development and marketing of Bakkt App, which is conceived as a tool for people to manage their various digital assets. These may include Bitcoin, loyalty points and reward programs (such as those offered by Starbucks and airlines), and virtual assets in video games.
Bakkt said that more than 400,000 people have pre-registered for the app and it is expected that the app will be widely publicly displayed in March. According to an introduction to the transaction released on Monday, Bakkt expects the app to accumulate more than 30 million users within five years. This ambitious goal will put Bakkt in the same alliance with other blockbuster financial apps such as Robinhood, Venmo or Square Inc.̵