Misleading reports following the Starbucks working partnership with the Bakkt ecosystem stated that Starbucks would be accepting Bitcoin in stores.
While this is not on its agenda quite yet, the multinational corporation has expressed its support for helping customers exchange their cryptocurrencies for fiat to spend in its over 27,000 cafes.
Partnership with Bakkt
Starbucks is the flagship retailer of Bakkt and has been given the role of developing trusted and regulated working relationships with clients who wish to exchange their Bitcoin to spend in retail stores.
Misleading headlines from outlets such as CNBC that ran with ‘New Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for Frappuccinos with Bitcoin‘ appear to misunderstand the dynamic of the scheme and assume Bitcoin could directly be used to purchase goods.
A spokesperson for Starbucks spoke to Motherboard to clarify the logistics of its partnership, reaffirming that the exchange is merely a platform to change cryptocurrencies into US dollars that the cafe chain and other outlets can accept. Starbucks did not rule out the possibility of accepting Bitcoin in the future, however, saying it would continue to consider customers wants alongside the changing regulatory space.
Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments for Starbucks, described the corporation’s role as ”pivotal” in the early stages of Bakkt.
Bringing it mainstream
The Bakkt venture is a Wall Street-regulated platform aiming to bring Bitcoin to a mainstream audience, with its founding members including Microsoft and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler described its purpose as helping ”unlock the transformative potential of digital assets” on an international scale.
A press release from Starbucks Friday notes that the federally-regulated marketplace will, for now, facilitate trades just for Bitcoin to fiat as it is currently the most liquid digital currency.
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