The old saying, “What good is Bitcoin if I can’t even buy a cup of coffee with it”, may become an adage of the past as Starbucks may be playing a role in the mainstreaming of cryptocurrencies. The Seattle based coffee giant is working with Microsoft, Intercontinental Exchange, BCG, and other companies to launch a new company called Bakkt.
The Intercontinental Exchange is the trading company that owns the New York Stock Exchange and they are main force behind Bakkt, a platform which aims to transform Bitcoin into a trusted global currency that will have daily usage for everyday purchases. The app will use Microsoft cloud to create an open and regulated digital asset ecosystem. Consumers and institutions will be able to buy, sell, store, and spend digital currencies on Bakkt’s network.
Where Starbucks and other retailers will come into play is by allowing their products to be purchased through the platform, essentially with cryptocurrencies. Bakkt will convert Bitcoin and other altcoins into dollars that can be used to buy coffee and treats from Starbucks through the Bakkt app.
“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks.”
–Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments for Starbucks
In addition to partnerships with major retailers, Bakkt will be have the funding and large investors including Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.
With the platform providing a simpler way of spending crypto on every day purchases, Bitcoin and other digital currencies will gain strength as an accepted form of global currency. The success of projects like Bakkt could possibly mean cryptocurrencies can be an alternative to a credit or debit card. Intercontinental Exchange’s participation will also make it more likely Bitcoin ETFs will finally be allowed to be traded on stock exchanges. Bakkt is expected to launch by November of this year and is being viewed as a major step when it comes to adoption.