Starbucks made a major announcement recently, which is that it will start accepting digital currency as a form of payment at its stores. The payment system will be provided by Bakkt, which features cloud technology from Microsoft. According to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the creator of Bakkt,
“The Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications. Its first use cases will be for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies, as Bitcoin is today the most liquid digital currency.” Jeffery Sprecher, the CEO of ICE, stated “by leveraging trusted market infrastructure, Bakkt is being engineered to help the digital asset markets evolve securely and efficiently while supporting transaction flaws.”
The Bakkt team is also collaborating to develop a platform that works to unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across commerce and global markets. Generally, ICE has been a powerhouse in the financial sector and its platform may be on its way to making some great changes.
The move has received positive attention. Thomas Lee, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global, tweeted
“Very big deal . . . and supports a roadmap that shows major institutions are creating supporting infrastructure for crypto.”
Not everyone is on board though. Howard Shultz, founder and CEO of Starbucks, is still skeptical of using Bitcoin as a trusted currency into the future. As he stated,
“And the reason I mentioned this is not because I’m talking about bitcoin because I don’t believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future . . . I’m talking about the new technology of blockchain and the possibility of what could happen not in the near terms, but in a few years from now.”