Bakkt to test consumer app with Starbucks in first half of 2020: blog

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt Trust Co LLC said on Monday it is focused on the development of consumer applications for digital assets and will test one such app with its first launch partner, Starbucks Corp, in the first half of next year.

“Bakkt’s approach to secure technology, privacy and innovation means that we are an advocate for consumers who have yet to enter the digital asset space, and for merchants who want to accept new, efficient forms of payments without increasing risks,” Mike Blandina, chief product officer at Bakkt, said on the company’s blog.

Bakkt last Friday announced the planned launch of a regulated options contract for bitcoin futures on Dec. 9. The bitcoin options contract will be based on the benchmark Bakkt Monthly Bitcoin Futures.

Bakkt’s bitcoin futures volume hit a record of 1,179 contracts on Friday. While Bakkt’s product saw muted activity at launch in September, recent market volatility has caused volumes to increase, analysts said.

Despite the rise in volumes, Bakkt still lags the CME which saw a 10-fold rise in volume. Bakkt differs from the CME in that Bakkt offers a physically-settled bitcoin futures contract whereas the CME offers a cash-settled product.

Bakkt is an affiliate of Intercontinental Exchange, which also owns the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown