Cryptocurrency exchange Bakkt to go public next month in SPAC deal

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a merger between cryptocurrency exchange Bakkt and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (VIH) that will allow companies to go public as a single entity next month.

VIH shareholders still need to approve the deal. A final vote is expected to happen on 14 October.

Shares of VIH were flat on Friday, losing $0.10 per share to $10.08 per share.

About Bakkt

Bakkt launched in 2018 and provides a retail platform for users to buy, store, spend, and sell digital assets. The Alpharetta, Georgia-based company recently launched an app to help bolster its loyalty program, according to a press release.

The company was founded by US Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat in 2018 by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Loeffler previously owned the Atlanta Dream WNBA Franchise.

Although no financial data was published in Friday’s announcement, previous reports by CoinDesk suggest the deal could value the company at as high as $2bn.

“We are thrilled to have reached this milestone and look forward to successfully completing the proposed business combination with VIH,” Gavin Michael, Chief Executive Officer of Bakkt, said in a statement.

“Now more than ever, we remain excited about the unique growth opportunities ahead for our business, and are laser focused on furthering our vision of connecting the digital economy,” he added.

New regulations

Bakkt is just one of several financial technology or cryptocurrency companies to announce they are going public with the help of special purpose acquisition companies.

Within the last week, banking and investing app MoneyLion launched a cryptocurrency trading service ahead of its IPO. Similarly, fintech startup Papaya reached a $9bn valuation to go public, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, SEC Chair Gary Gensler recently signaled new regulations may be far over the horizon for digital assets.

During a hearing before the US Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Gensler described cryptocurrencies as the “Wild West” that deserve greater regulatory attention.

Read more: SEC boss issues tough warning to cryptocurrency platforms

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