- Bakkt launched their consumer spending app last week.
- The lack of mainstream adoption has much to do with the need for change on the Bitcoin network.
Bakkt, the Bitcoin futures platform, recently announced their new consumer spending app, making it possible for customers to use Bitcoin to purchase their morning brew at Starbucks. This option will be available towards the middle of 2020, and there have been many crypto proponents that have been hopeful that this is a sign of mass adoption, but it is not likely to be the case.
Even with all of the lower-tier Bitcoin fans throwing out “hodl” and “staking stats,” the general understanding of these assets is that the ability to use a token is prioritized over its ability to be a store of value. If the token is going to be viewed as an investment, it has to be usable, and Bakkt has to be able to show a way to access Bitcoin’s value with futures contracts, but it also has to be useful in other ways.
The option to pay for a cup of coffee is more of a symbolic gesture by Bakkt than anything else. It is already easy to purchase with nearly any payment method with Starbucks, and the brand isn’t exactly pushing for another way to pay. Furthermore, the qualities that cryptocurrency is known for immutability and decentralization don’t really remedy any issues in the coffee industry has right now. Also, using a futures contracts platform to pay for a coffee is quite a long way to go to use cryptocurrency.
With those considerations, many consumers wonder why Bakkt went through all the trouble to even establish a consumer spending app? It seems like the entire reason is to be able to say that they make Bitcoin spendable at Starbucks, creating a mentality about Bitcoin that it is being integrated into mainstream use.
Cryptocurrency still needs to solve the issues with usability, and the way that Bakkt has integrated this option further shows how far crypto has to go. It’s been around for 11 years already, and it still lacks widespread use. Though there are changes that need to be made to ensure that these assets are easily integrated for purchase, the network itself still has plenty of changes to make in scalability, in security, and more. Until those changes are made, spending solutions with Bakkt will probably continue arising.