Earlier this month, Starbucks partnered with Microsoft, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), and BCG to establish a new digital currency company Bakkt. The project will allegedly allow customers to buy their favourite beverages at Starbucks with bitcoin (BTC).
"It's very big news for bitcoin because people say, 'Where can you spend it?' Now at every single Starbucks," Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of BKCM was quoted by
CNBC. "Starbucks is seeing some kind of demand for acceptance of crypto and bitcoin, and to tie up with a huge regulated institution like the ICE is really positive for the space."
Starbucks now participates in the Bakkt platform, which will provide users and institutional investors with a global ecosystem for buying, selling and storing digital assets. The launch of the project is expected to be held this autumn. Bakkt will also use Microsoft cloud to create an open and regulated digital asset ecosystem.
Given virtual coin volatility, some people have a skeptical attitude towards its use as a matter of payment. For instance, bitcoin has lost more than half of its value since December last year. Moreover, the bitcoin price can experience many changes during the day which can cost hundreds of dollars.
However, if Starbucks takes fintech seriously, bitcoin may await a breakthrough soon. It can also mean a bullish trend for prices, which have had no significant footing since late 2017.
Starbucks will not accept bitcoins, but the company wants to help people spend it. The new venture will act as a crypto exchange that will allow clients to convert their crypto coins into US dollars to spend in Starbucks coffee shops. The role of Starbucks in this partnership is consulting and developing applications.
“It is important to clarify that we are not accepting digital assets at Starbucks. Rather the exchange will convert digital assets like Bitcoin into US dollars, which can be used at Starbucks,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Motherboard.