CNBC and Bloomberg caught huge attention from a story on Starbucks accepting Bitcoin in partnership with Microsoft and the parent company of the NYSE. Yahoo quickly brought a misleading take on the news, where an interviewee made a vague statement that Bitcoin wallets are “iffy at best,” and are preventing Bitcoin adoption.
Starbucks Bitcoin Payments
The press release states: “Launch of regulated, physical Bitcoin futures contract and warehouse planned for November 2018.” Starbucks will be the “flagship retailer” for payment processing on the new platform, but there is no estimation on when that could be established.
“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.”
If, or when it does happen, Starbucks would still process only fiat currency in house. Transactions would instantly engage an exchange of BTC from a customer for fiat on the Bakkt network, where the fiat would move directly to Starbucks.
There are many hoops to jump through before integrating this kind of thing, but the Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing, with merchant and consumer applications as well, which would allow Starbucks to integrate BTC payments globally.
It runs much deeper than just accepting BTC payments. Bakkt is aiming to be a regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets, meaning consumers and institutions could buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network without worrying about regulatory discrepancies.
The platform will be built on Microsoft’s cloud networking services, and backed by their venture capital arm. It was founded by the parent company of the NYSE, the Intercontinental Exchange. The first use case will be similar to many of the Bitcoin futures already available, based strictly on trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies.