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Crypto is going public: Timing is key as Bakkt secures NYSE listing

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Digital assets marketplace Bakkt is set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021, which could pave the way for more cryptocurrency service providers to follow suit. The Intercontinental Exchange announced on Jan. 11 that its cryptocurrency marketplace Bakkt would soon be listed on the NYSE public stock market. This will be done through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings.

The shell company will be used to merge with Bakkt in order for it to be listed on the stock market without having to undertake an initial public offering. Initial reports suggest that Bakkt will be valued at over $2 billion after the merger, and the exchange intends to raise a further $532 million to bankroll the ongoing development of its application, a wallet and rewards app targeting retail users, which is expected to be launched in March.

The company has indicated that the merger is expected to be wrapped up in the second quarter of 2021. This will then see the newly formed Bakkt Holdings Inc. listed on the NYSE.

A lot has been made of the investor presentation that was submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The document outlines the potential for the cryptocurrency market to be valued at $3 billion by 2025, underpinning the potential value of the space in the coming years. The total cryptocurrency market capitalization topped $1 trillion for the first time in January 2021.

Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael told Cointelegraph that the merger makes sense, given the amount of capital that has already flowed into the cryptocurrency space and the potential growth it predicts over the next three years:

“Bakkt and VPC believe there is enormous potential in building a marketplace for the nearly $2T of digital assets that exist today and the many others that will be created because a marketplace such as this exists for both brands and consumers.”

Michael added that the merger will give Bakkt access to the necessary capital to expand and provide more opportunities for consumers to unlock trillions of dollars held across various digital assets. The company also expects to benefit from the brand recognition that will come from becoming a publicly-traded company.

A sign of things to come?

Mati Greenspan, crypto analyst and founder of advisory firm Quantum Economics, told Cointelegraph that the timing of the merger and Bakkt’s decision to go public is not surprising, given that the cryptocurrency markets are currently booming.

Noting that the move will no doubt be lucrative for Bakkt, Greenspan also agreed that the push to go public is an indication that the traditional finance sector is beginning to recognize cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused businesses as mature and valuable: “It’s a reflection of where these companies are in their life cycle and how it coincides with the readiness of the traditional market to accept them.”

While some major institutional investors like MicroStrategy have made waves across the industry with their billion-dollar purchases of Bitcoin (BTC) in recent months, Greenspan highlighted the efficacy of diversifying investment in the space. While holding cryptocurrencies is a direct way to gain exposure to the ecosystem, Greenspan said investing in the right companies could potentially be more beneficial:

“There is a natural appetite for all investors to be as diverse as possible. Just as one whose portfolio consists of gold would also invest in mining stocks or an oil tycoon would invest within their own industry. Many times investing in a company directly can be more lucrative than buying a token whose value may be unknown.”

Joel Edgerton, chief operating officer of U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer, told Cointelegraph that the timing of the initial public offering was opportune, given the current market highs and a strong interest in cryptocurrencies. He also offered an alternative stance on the reasons behind the ongoing surge, suggesting that small investors and independent firms are driving the cryptocurrency boom: “Coinbase and Bakkt are taking advantage of the IPO window to allow their investors an exit event and use the subsequent publicity of their early moves to strengthen their brands.”

Edgerton also believes in the propensity of smart investors to fund companies involved in the cryptocurrency space without actually buying BTC or other altcoins. The lack of options to gain widespread exposure to cryptocurrency also plays a role:

“There is a definite appetite for investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency space by investing in crypto companies, while not directly holding cryptocurrency assets. […] Purchasing shares and indirectly profiting from the growth in the industry is definitely attractive. Since there is still no easy-to-purchase ETF or mutual fund for crypto, then crypto companies become a proxy cryptocurrency investment.”

Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy for digital asset exchange AAX, told Cointelegraph that Bakkt’s move does not necessarily reflect recognition from the wider financial industry. In contrast to the sentiments of Greenspan and Edgerton, Caselin also highlighted the fact that shareholders of Bakkt, when it is finally publicly traded, will be banking on the assumption that the exchange is successful in the future. While this is intrinsically tied into the cryptocurrency markets, Caselin draws a clear line between investing directly into cryptocurrencies and exchanges:

“It’s important to understand that investing in a cryptocurrency exchange is not a replacement for holding actual digital assets or trading futures. It is, in principle, a way to gain exposure to the wider industry, but more specifically, holding Coinbase or shares in Bakkt rests on the assumption that this particular exchange will fare well in the years to come.”

IPO’s and mega deals

The likes of Bakkt and Coinbase have seemingly gained a headstart in the race to access public funding and publicity as they look to build on their current offerings. Despite Bitcoin hitting new all-time highs on separate occasions in recent weeks, Edgerton believes that the space is still in its youth, and investment from the wider public will become a key driver of growth over the next decade: “IPOs are obviously a major source of funding, and a successful IPO should also encourage VCs to invest in the next major crypto unicorn.”

Related: Coinbase IPO to further legitimize crypto, but limitations remain

Greenspan also sees more billion-dollar deals on the horizon for the cryptocurrency space, while suggesting that some of these might just be done using the nascent technology powering the future of finance: “As the industry grows, there will be many more crypto-related mega-deals. Perhaps one day soon, all IPOs, acquisitions and mergers will happen using distributed ledger technology.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-is-going-public-timing-is-key-as-bakkt-secures-nyse-listing

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Circle K to Host Bitcoin ATMs Across its Convenience Stores

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Major bitcoin ATM operator Bitcoin Depot has inked a long-term partnership deal with convenience store chain Circle K to install Bitcoin kiosks in the United States and Canada.

Bitcoin Depot and Circle K Partner to Install Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin Depot announced the deal via a press release on Thursday (July 22, 2021). According to the company, there are more than 700 Bitcoin ATMs already installed in Circle K locations in 30 states across the U.S.

The partnership provides individuals with a more convenient way to purchase bitcoin, thereby encouraging widespread adoption of the flagship cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Depot already has over 3000 BTC ATM kiosks located in almost every state in the U.S. and also allows users to buy more than 30 cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and LTC.

Speaking on the latest development, Brandon Mintz, CEO of Bitcoin Depot, said that the partnership deal with Circle K enables the crypto ATM company to expand its services internationally. Mintz also said that the installation of the Bitcoin ATMs would grow the number of customers visiting the convenience store chain while providing financial access to “underserved communities.”

Circle K’s Senior Vice President Global Merchandise and Procurement, Denny Tewell, also made a statement, saying:


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“At Circle K, we are passionate about making our customers’ lives a little easier every day, and we are continually looking at ways to enhance their experience in our stores and be their favorite shop for a growing range of needs and occasions.”

Tewell  added:

“Our partnership with Bitcoin Depot further builds on this commitment, giving our brand an important, early presence in the fast-growing cryptocurrency marketplace as a convenient destination where customers can buy Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin ATMs Continue Exponential Growth

The growth of crypto ATMs globally signals an increasing demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets. According to data from Coin ATM Radar, there are currently 23,915 crypto ATMs in 75 countries, up from 11,665 ATMs recorded in November 2020. This shows that the number of machines has more than doubled in eight months.

Statistics further show that the United States continues to lead with over 21,000 Bitcoin ATM locations, controlling more than 86% of the market. Canada comes second with BTC ATMs installations in 1696 locations, amounting to 6.8% of the world total.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/circle-k-to-host-bitcoin-atms-across-its-convenience-stores/

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Jack Dorsey Sees Bitcoin as a Big Part of Twitter’s Future

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Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter – one of the largest social media platforms on Earth – said that Bitcoin will be a big part of the company’s future.

  • Yesterday, July 22nd, Twitter published its Q2 2021 letter to shareholders, as well as its Q2 Earnings Conference Call.
  • During the call, Jack Dorsey discussed many things, but Bitcoin and digital currencies took somewhat of a central stage, especially in light of current events and the fact that he’s been talking about it quite a bit.

I think this [read: Bitcoin] has a big part of our future. I think there’s a lot of innovation above just currency to be had, especially as we think about decentralizing social media more and providing more economic incentive. So I think it’s hugely important to Twitter and to Twitter shareholders that we continue to look at the space and invest aggressively in it. – Said Dorsey.

  • He also stressed on the fact that if there were a global currency of the Internet, Twitter would benefit a lot because it could move quickly with some of its products such as the Tip Jar, Subscription, Commerce, Super Follows, and so forth.
  • The CEO has been quite vocal about the importance of Bitcoin and its mass adoption.
  • Earlier, as reported by CryptoPotato, the CEO revealed that his financial services company, Square, plans to build a hardware Bitcoin wallet to improve and spread its adoption.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/jack-dorsey-sees-bitcoin-as-a-big-part-of-twitters-future/

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‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Jordan Belfort: Elon Musk Is Filthy Rich To Pump And Dump Bitcoin

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Binance CEO CZ Lambasts Tesla CEO Elon Musk For 'Irresponsibly' Manipulating The Crypto Market

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Jordan Ross Belfort, best known as the “Wolf of Wall Street” portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, doesn’t believe that Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk really manipulates crypto prices contrary to countless claims.  

Speaking with Fox Business on Thursday, Belfort posited that Musk is stinking rich to be pumping and dumping dogecoin, bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies in order to make a quick buck off of it. 

“I like Elon Musk and I think he’s rich enough. He doesn’t have to make an extra few dollars pumping and dumping.”

Jordan Belfort, the former Wall Street penny-stock broker who pleaded guilty to stock market fraud in 1999, explained that while Musk himself might not be pumping and dumping, traders might be using his endorsement and they pump and dump around the hype that the billionaire tycoon creates.

Musk, famous for his odd-timed tweets, has constantly been accused of being a master manipulator. Notably, his tweets on major cryptocurrencies like DOGE and BTC, have sent their prices up and down within seconds.

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At The B Word conference held on Wednesday, Musk shared details of the three cryptocurrencies that he personally owns as well as the cryptos held by his two companies. He also admitted that he might occasionally pump crypto prices, but he doesn’t dump. “If the price of bitcoin goes down, I lose money,” Musk explained.

The Tesla chief went on to state that he is interested in seeing bitcoin succeed — not just getting the price high and cashing out at higher prices.

Belfort, however, maintains that Musk is most likely “inadvertently being used” to pump and dump cryptocurrencies. 

Belfort Is Hoping Bitcoin Price Rips Lower

During his interview, Belfort also affirmed that he is invested in bitcoin (BTC), and ethereum (ETH) and is in it for the long haul. In fact, he hopes the price of the bellwether cryptocurrency falls again to as low as $5K per coin so that he can grab some more.

“I would love it to go lower because I’m a long-term investor so I don’t care if it goes up or down in the short term. I would love it to go back to $5000 and buy a ton of it here and that would be a great thing.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a0l8zUyF.png
BTCUSD Chart By TradingView

At the time of publication, the bitcoin price is in the process of attempting a sustained breakout above $32,400 where the price has been hovering for 48 hours or so.

The Wall Street criminal-turned-author also noted that no one actually knows where the price of bitcoin goes next and if anyone says they do, they are definitely lying.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/wolf-of-wall-street-jordan-belfort-elon-musk-is-filthy-rich-to-pump-and-dump-bitcoin/

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