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Intercontinental Exchange’s cryptocurrency venture to go public through a SPAC

Intercontinental Exchange Inc., ICE -2.99% or ICE, will take its cryptocurrency venture public by merging it with a special-purpose acquisition company, a deal that will further its goal of launching a consumer app for trading and making payments with digital assets.

The venture, called Bakkt, is expected to have a valuation of $2.1 billion after completing the merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings the companies said on Monday.

The deal brings together two of the hottest plays in today’s markets: crypto and SPACs. Bitcoin, the biggest digital currency, last week surged above $40,000 for the first time, and SPACs had their biggest year ever in 2020, raising a record $83 billion in new listings, according to data provider SPACInsider. SPACs, also called blank-check companies, are vehicles that go public to raise cash for mergers and acquisitions.