Business 6 August 2018Gerald Fenech
No, Starbucks is not accepting Bitcoin for coffee purchases
In response to recent misleading reports from mainstream media, coffee retailer Starbucks clarified that it would not be accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for coffee and croissants purchases. At least, not yet.
Last week, the International Exchange (ICE), which operates the New York Stock Exchange, announced that it is creating a new “global platform and ecosystem for digital assets.” The platform, called Bakkt, was a joint project between ICE and several big name enterprises including Starbucks, BCG and Microsoft.
This announcement prompted news outlets like CNBC to report that the “New Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for Frappuccinos with Bitcoin,” leading customers to believe that they can soon start purchasing items at Starbucks using their crypto holdings.
However, a spokesperson for Starbucks set the record straight over the weekend, telling Motherboard: “Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with Bitcoin.” Rather, the Bakkt exchange will allow Starbucks patrons to “convert digital assets like Bitcoin into U.S. 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,” according to the Starbucks representative.
In an official press release on Friday, Starbucks said the Bakkt exchange would offer physically delivered BTC futures when it’s regulated.
“As an initial component of the Bakkt offering, Intercontinental Exchange’s U.S.-based futures exchange and clearing house plan to launch a 1-day physically delivered Bitcoin contract along with physical warehousing in November 2018, subject to CFTC review and approval,” according to the coffee retailer.
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 U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, VP for partnerships and payments for Starbucks.
For now, however, continue paying with regular cash, cards and Mobile Pay for your coffee and croissants.
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