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Mastercard, Bakkt offer crypto-based credit, debit cards

Cryptocurrency exchange Bakkt is partnering with Mastercard (MA) to offer crypto debit and credit cards, making it easier for consumers to pay using digital coins.

Via Mastercard and Bakkt (BKKT), businesses and banks will be able to issue their own branded crypto debit and credit cards to consumers who want them. Holders can use bitcoin purchased through Bakkt with the card, or link to a fiat-based funding source, and receive bitcoin rewards.

Bakkt’s stock, which publicly listed on the NYSE on October 18, skyrocketed by over 30% at Monday’s opening bell, adding to Friday’s advance of over 13%.

With the Mastercard partnership, companies will also be able to offer crypto as part of their loyalty reward programs backed by Bakkt. For instance, hotels or restaurants who offer points for freebies or other perks could also offer customers the option to convert the points into cryptocurrency of their choosing.

The partnership comes as more Americans become interested in transacting in digital assets, with businesses and service providers making incremental steps toward making it easier to transact in crypto.

Nearly half of respondents purchased crypto in the first half of 2021, according to a Bakkt survey of 2000 consumers. And, according to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 77% of millennials stated that they are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency, with 75% saying that they would use cryptocurrency if they understood it better.

The partnership with Mastercard comes after Bakkt partnered with Google to allow its users to purchase goods and services using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through the Google Pay wallet and payment system.

Bakkt, which started as a cryptocurrency exchange for institutional investors, has moved into the consumer space with an app aimed at being a tool to let people manage their digital assets — including cryptocurrencies – similar to Venmo. Bakkt projects the app will amass more than 30 million users in five years.

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For more information about cryptocurrency, check out:

Dogecoin, what is it? How to buy it

Ethereum: What is it and how do you invest in it?

The top 21 crypto leaders to watch in the back half of 2021

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