Bitcoin is down by more than 60% from its all-time high, but Bakkt’s CEO says the leading cryptocurrency isn’t going away.Even though Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t doing well recently. Gavin Michael, the CEO of ICE-owned Bakkt, tells Yahoo Finance in an interview that they’re here to stay.

“From our perspective, Bitcoin is not going anywhere,” says Michael. “And it’s a very important part of the ecosystem. Bakkt is committed to responsibly growing this market.”

He went on to say that Bakkt is working on several fronts to make cryptocurrencies more accessible and user-friendly. For instance, Bakkt is partnering with Starbucks to enable customers to pay for their coffee with Bitcoin.

Despite the present bear market, institutional interest in cryptocurrencies is on the rise, according to Michael. He says;

“There is still a lot of interest and momentum among our partners, many of whom are multinational businesses. They understand the ups and downs that we’re seeing. [We] believe that the partners will enter at a slightly slower rate in the future. They’re being more cautious about how they enter the cryptocurrency economy. ”

Michael says that Bakkt will continue to offer its crypto services throughout the year and expects an enormous expansion by 2023. Despite the decline in market value from $2.2 trillion at the beginning of 2020 to $1 trillion presently.

“I think we’re in the very early innings of Bakkt and crypto,” Michael says. “This is a multi-year build. We see Bakkt as being much more like Amazon Web Services than it is like a cryptocurrency company. We want to make it easy for institutions to participate in the crypto economy.”

Bakkt saw its Bakkt Bitcoin Futures open interest explode in early 2020 as the BTC price surged to new highs.

The company also offers custody and other services for institutional investors. And Michael said Bakkt is seeing a lot of demand from traditional financial firms wanting to get involved in crypto. He states;

“We’re seeing a shift in the present narrative, if you will, from crypto being looked at just as an investable asset to a more general utility for users, businesses, and institutions. So our goal is to collaborate with our partners to fully unleash [crypto’s] potential and usefulness.”

The bear market is a period of development, and Bakkt has been capitalizing on it. The firm, which provides a crypto trading platform for big investors, announced a new collaboration with Visa in early December. And currently has one with Mastercard.

The collaboration with Visa will enable Bakkt to offer crypto debit and credit cards. Making it easier for consumers to pay using cryptocurrencies.

The integration of Bakkt with Mastercard enables businesses to include cryptocurrency as part of their loyalty programs. Michael states;

“We’re seeing that people who treasure their loyalty points in this tough economy are even more enthusiastic about them. They believe it to be a cheap alternative to rising prices.”

Bakkt’s revenue saw a significant jump in the second half of the year. This was due to an uptake in customers redeeming their loyalty points for cryptocurrencies.

Bakkt is now on track to process $1 billion in annualized payments volume by the end of 2020. With partnerships like these, Bakkt is increasing mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. As more people use crypto, the demand for Bakkt’s services will continue to grow.

Bakkt’s BTC loyalty program is just one example of how the company is driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Bakkt is also working on bitcoin futures contracts and a physically-delivered BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Bakkt’s CEO, Gavin Michael, is confident that these products will help increase the demand for crypto.“ I believe that Bakkt will help unlock the institutional side of Bitcoin,” states Michael. “It starts with Futures but there are other products in development including an ETF.

All of this is part of Bakkt’s mission to build trust in and unlock the value of digital assets for investors and consumers alike.

James Atkins

I have been writing copy for blockchain-related projects since 2017. I understand the importance of being able to communicate clearly and effectively with both technical and non-technical audiences. By leveraging my understanding of the crypto industry trends, I can help increase adoption in this rapidly evolving landscape.