Starbucks Card Is Now Reloadable with Cryptocurrencies, Coffee Giant Exploring Tokenizing Through Blockchain

The Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks (SBUX) reported its fourth-quarter revenue of $8.15 billion.

During its earnings call, President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said they are deepening its digital relationship and expanding the reach through payment partnerships with PayPal and Bakkt.

This partnership now allows a customer to “reload their Starbucks card with a range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and others by converting digital currencies to physical currency and reloading their Starbucks card,” he said.

He further talked about utilizing blockchain technology to enhance digital services, enable customers to exchange value across brands, engage in more personalized experiences, and exchange other loyalty points for Stars at Starbucks.

“Through blockchain or other innovative technologies, we are exploring how to tokenize Stars, create the ability for other merchants to connect their rewards program to Starbucks Rewards,” Johnson said.

By leveraging its digital capabilities, Starbucks grew its 90-day active Starbucks Rewards members that represent the company's most loyal and engaged customers by about 30% to 24.8 million members.

MicroStrategy's Bitcoin Stash Grows Over $7 Bln

Besides Starbucks, business intelligence company MicroStrategy which holds Bitcoin on its balance sheet also reported its Q3 financial results that showed it purchased 8,957 BTC in this quarter, bringing its total holdings to over 114,000 BTC worth more than $7 billion at current prices.

The book value of the company's Bitcoin stash was $2.406 bln with a cumulative impairment loss of $754.7 million.

MicroStrategy also reported a revenue of $128 mln. “We’re profitable, we’re generating a very healthy operating margin, and I’m very pleased with the stability and maturity of that business,” said CEO Michael Saylor.

During the third quarter, the company also offered $500 mln of senior secured notes, a “more creative” option than convertible debt issuance, with an annual interest rate of 6.125% in a private offering to finance more Bitcoin purchases.

Commenting on the regulatory discussions around Bitcoin, Saylor said,

“There’s no intention to block institutions from owning this asset.”

“It’s been referred to as a scare, speculative digital asset, or store of value asset.”

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