Update August 6th:
In a recent announcement from a Starbucks representative, it appears global media misinterpreted what the deal was all about, Starbucks will not directly allow cryptocurrency payments, instead they will work with the exchange in order for customers to exchange crypto to fiat that would then be stored in a card for usage in Starbucks.
“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… At the current time, we are announcing the launch of trading and conversion of Bitcoin. However, we will continue to talk with customers and regulators as the space evolves… Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin.”
In a move towards global adoption Microsoft is partnering with Starbucks and Intercontinental Exchange in a partnership that will allow people to purchase their daily coffee with bitcoin.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are no longer spiralling upwards out of control, those holding the currency may be looking to spend them rather than holding onto the digits.
“It’s very big news for bitcoin because people say, ‘Where can you spend it?’ Now at every single Starbucks,” said Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of BKCM. “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.”
The partners, with BCG and others, are launching a new company called Bakkt that will help companies and consumers buy, sell, store and spend cryptocurrencies and spend it on actual products.
“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, said in a statement. “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”
The service is particularly important due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, which can change value by hundreds of dollars in a single day. Hopefully, however, your Frappe will not go down in history like the bitcoin pizza, which would today be worth $74 million.