On August 3, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Intercontinental Exchange announced a new cryptocurrency venture known as Bakkt.
Bakkt is a global ecosystem for digital assets designed to allow individuals, as well as institutions to buy, sell, and spend digital assets on a unified network. Nevertheless, the media was quick to jump to conclusions and misinterpreted the news, spreading the rumor that Starbucks will allow you to buy lattes with bitcoins. Considering this news has been spread by mainstream publications such as CNBC and Bloomberg it had a pretty high reach.
Truth be told, it’s easy to understand their excitement as right now there aren’t a lot of places where you can spend bitcoins or any other cryptocurrencies for that matter.
However, Starbucks spokespeople have dissolved the rumors explaining that Starbucks currently doesn’t have any plans for allowing us to buy their products using bitcoins but they are still interested in the world of cryptocurrency.
The new venture will allow consumers to convert cryptocurrency into US dollars which of course can be spent at any retailer, including Starbucks. In this partnership, Starbucks will be the flagship retailer, participating in the consulting and development of related apps. As a result, the investment of Starbucks in the cryptocurrency industry is not necessarily related to their coffee business.
A Starbucks spokesperson said:
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
They have also mentioned they will keep a close eye on feedback from regulators and customers, so let’s say Starbucks isn’t completely refusing the idea of cryptocurrency payments but rather deciding to wait and see how things evolve first.