The coffee brand Starbucks is getting into the cryptocurrency market at the moment, but customers are going to be disappointed if they think they can pay for their orders using the decentralised payment solution. It is true that Starbucks is branching out into crypto, but they haven’t quite reached that stage yet.
As part of a venture called ‘Bakkt’, Starbucks has announced a new company with Intercontinental Stock Exchange, BCG, Microsoft, and others to create a “seamless global network” for spending digital assets such as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Kelly Loeffler, ICE’s head of digital assets, and the lady who will take up the position as CEO of Bakkt 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.”
So, what does that mean for the customer? Well, the new suggests that people using Starbucks will be able to turn their Bitcoins into dollars before heading to the counter and placing their orders. While the coffee chain does not plan to accept Bitcoins at their counter, this move should help thousands of people with digital wallets to make use of their capital.
Will others follow suit?
One of the most interesting things about this revelation is that other brands will soon have to follow suit if Starbucks gets the process right and the Bitcoin for coffee system swings into action with impressive effects. The truth is, this could become the catalyst that encourages other global brands to adopt similar approaches in their stores and online.
According to official statistics, there are around 22 million active Bitcoin wallets globally. Most of the people who own those accounts are unable to purchase items using their capital due to a lack of infrastructure. While there are a few Bitcoin ATMs in the US and Europe at the moment, there are nowhere near enough for people to use Bitcoins for transactions on a daily basis. The Bitcoin for coffee program from Starbucks looks set to buck the trend.
What are the benefits?
For the customer, converting Bitcoins into US dollars is a convenient way to gain access to their electronic funds. For the retailer, the move presents an exciting publicity opportunity and the potential for increased profits across the board. The only possible issue here is the reliability of the system, but Starbucks claims the exchange will work seamlessly and quickly for all customers.
Starbucks is the first in an endless line of retailers to take the plunge and incorporate Bitcoin exchanges into their business model. If the company pulls it off and people with Bitcoin wallets can turn their currency into cash for coffee orders, there is no telling where the trend might lead.
There are currently no less than 220 Bitcoin ATMs in the world at the moment, and that number increases every year. Is cryptocurrency the future for all shoppers and retailers? That remains to be seen, but enthusiasts will want to watch Starbucks closely during the next few months.
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