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NYSE-Backed Bakkt Contemplates Sale Amid Evolving Crypto Landscape

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
NYSE-Backed Bakkt Contemplates Sale

Bakkt Holdings, the digital asset marketplace established by the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is reportedly considering a potential sale amidst a surge in crypto-related takeover activities.

The company has engaged the services of a financial advisor to assess various strategic options, including the possibility of a breakup, BNN Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

However, no final decision has been reached, and Bakkt may ultimately choose to remain an independent entity, the report said.

Bakkt Faces Challenges

Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of prominent futures markets and the NYSE, initially launched Bakkt to much fanfare in 2018.

At the time, Bakkt announced partnerships with Starbucks Corp. and Microsoft Corp., garnering significant attention.

Notably, Kelly Loeffler, the founding CEO of Bakkt, went on to serve as a US Senator from Georgia for a year.

Earlier this year, Bakkt faced potential delisting from the NYSE after disclosing concerns about its ability to continue operating as a going concern.

Bakkt, which offers a comprehensive range of services including trading and custody, enters the market during a period of consolidation within the digital-asset sector, accompanied by a resurgence in crypto prices nearing record highs.

While some firms contemplate expansion, others are still grappling with the aftermath of the industry-wide meltdown experienced two years ago.

In recent news, Robinhood Markets Inc. announced its acquisition of the European crypto exchange Bitstamp, while Riot Platforms Inc., one of the largest Bitcoin miners, proposed a takeover of its rival, Bitfarms.

Bakkt went public through a merger with a blank-check vehicle in 2021.

Bakkt Reports First Quarter Loss

The company reported a first-quarter loss of $21 million on revenue of $855 million.

On Friday, Bakkt unveiled a partnership with Crossover Markets to develop a crypto electronic communication network (ECN), further expanding its offerings.

Bakkt’s possession of the coveted BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services bolsters its position in the digital-asset platform landscape.

Other major participants in the industry that have received clearance to conduct business in New York include crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc., stablecoin issuer Circle, and Jack Dorsey’s digital payment firm Square.

Following the news, Bakkt’s shares experienced a 15% surge, reaching $22.33 on Friday.

Throughout the week, the stock has witnessed a 27% increase, leading to a current market valuation of approximately $300 million.

However, it is worth noting that the stock has faced a decline of around 30% over the past year.

In November 2023, Bakkt Holdings announced its expansion into both international and domestic markets.

The digital asset marketplace detailed its plans to extend cryptocurrency capabilities across numerous global markets, servicing both existing partnerships and new clients.

As reported, trading volume on major cryptocurrency exchanges has experienced a significant decline in April, coinciding with Bitcoin’s retreat from its all-time high.

Additionally, derivatives trading volume saw its first decrease in seven months, falling by 26.1% to $4.57 trillion.

The decline came as major CEXs like Binance experienced a large surge in trading volumes between October 2023 and March 2024.