MasterCard and Bakkt Holdings announced a partnership on Monday that will allow banks and merchants to expand their cryptocurrency services, sending Bakkt shares climbing 38% higher on Monday morning after an initial rise of 51.5% in pre-market trading.
The Alpharetta, Georgia-based digital-asset platform, which went public on 15 October via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (VIH), saw its shares jump 51.5% in pre-market trading to open at $13.86 following the announcement.
Shortly after the opening bell, Bakkt shares traded up an additional 27.7% from the opening price, hitting a new all-time high of $17.72 per share on over 65 million trading volume. Bakkt shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BKKT.
Increasing demand for crypto
“As brands and merchants look to appeal to younger consumers and their transaction preferences, these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, payment and rewards flexibility,” said Bakkt’s executive vice president of loyalty rewards and payments, Nancy Gordon, in a release announcing the partnership.
The agreement will allow MasterCard to offer crypto-trading abilities through a Bakkt custodial wallet, as well as to convert loyalty reward points into crypto.
Additionally, MasterCard will offer Bakkt-branded debit and credit cards.
MasterCard shares moved up by a more modest 1.54% in mid-morning trading to reach a high of $364.30.
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Bakkt shares had been trading below its $10 per share initial public offering (IPO) price until Monday, hitting a low of $8 per share on 21 October. However, the share price climbed after VIH shareholders voted with a 85.1% majority to approve the merger, with roughly 40% opting for a refund instead of Bakkt shares, the company reported.
Bakkt had previously announced a partnership with Google integrating its crypto debit card with Google Pay for consumer purchases, as well as with Choice Hotels to convert loyalty reward points into bitcoin.