What Does Starbuck’s Venture With Bitcoin Mean For Crypto’s Manstream Adaptability?


What Does Starbuck’s Venture With Bitcoin Mean For Crypto’s Manstream Adaptability?

Starbucks is certainly one of the biggest brands in the world with over 30,000 outlets over the world that employes close to 300,000 people. Earlier this week, we reported about the company’s plans to start using blockchain technology to track coffee production in association with tech giants Microsoft.

The two companies showed multiple joint initiatives. Other projects include drive-thru ordering with predictive technology, along with the connection between multiple cafe locations with Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology.

Starbuck’s Venture With Blockchain

Supply chain management is one of the biggest application of blockchain. The American coffee chain had announced “bean to cup” project originally published in 2018. Through this project, the company would collaborate with farmers in Rwanda, Colombia, and Costa Rica. The new system will make it possible for customers to see where their coffee comes from. Coffee bean farmers also stand to benefit in the way of financial opportunities. The pilot program is going to be open-sourced soon to show what they have found.

Even though in 2018, the company’s former CEO Howard Schultz was not a big fan of cryptos and had repeatedly told that his company would not be looking crypto payments, they recognized the potential of the technology.

He had said:

“I’m bringing this up because as we think about the future of our company and the future of consumer behavior, I personally believe that there is going to be a one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology.”

Schultz even went as far as saying that blockchain technology is probably the rails in which an integrated app at Starbucks will be sitting on top of.

Bakkt And Starbucks

Starbucks along with Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft, and BCG, is working to launch a new company called Bakkt that will enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend cryptocurrencies on the global network by November 2019. The platform with convert bitcoin and other crypto coins into U.S. dollars that can be used to buy anything at Starbucks.

The company’s vice president of partnerships and payments, Maria Smith had said:

“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. 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.”

Regarding the partnership with Microsoft, the company's spokesperson had 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. 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.”

Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service

At the beginning of the month, Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service was announced. Microsoft released tools that will allow clients to build Ethereum(ETH) applications using Azure’s cloud computing platform. This new tool will be allowing developers to create and also deploy Ethereum decentralized applications on Azure Blockchain Service and the Ethereum Blockchain. This development kit works as an extension to Microsoft's source-code editor called Visual Studio Code.

Starbucks was named as one of the first clients to use this service along with Quorum, the Ethereum-based platform of JPMorgan Chase.

Eyal Shani, a blockchain researcher at Aykesubir, regarding this partnership said:

“Although no relevant information was published, we can safely assume that the choice of Microsoft’s blockchain services over other options were mainly affected by the current partnerships the firms hold rather than the technical differences of blockchain on Azure vs blockchain managed services on AWS, at this level of maturity of those services.”

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