Starbucks Seals Equity Deal With Bakkt That Will Allow Customers Pay For Coffee With Bitcoin

A while ago, Starbucks announced that it was entering into a partnership with the United States cryptocurrency-based platform, Bakkt. Two days ago, new details about the partnership revealed that Starbucks, the United States coffee giant, may start accepting Bitcoin Bakkt payments because of the equity deal. The news was initially reported by The Block, a cryptocurrency news outlet.

Bitcoin Bakkt Payments On Starbucks

In August last year, Starbucks became one of the founding partners of Bakkt. Now, the coffee giant will install the Bitcoin Bakkt software that will allow customers make payments for their products in Bitcoin. The report from The Block stated that even if the payments will be made in cryptocurrencies, no Bitcoin will be left on the chain. They will be converted into fiat instantly.

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The entire cryptocurrency industry has been waiting for the release of Bakkt which is currently in its final stages. The platform is expected to support the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies around the globe. The platform will most likely be launched this year. Among other things, it is going to provide issuance for physically-delivered Bitcoin futures contracts. Right now, the main thing that is holding the platform back is regulatory approval from the CFTC. As soon as the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission gives its approval, the platform will go live. This is expected to happen later this year.

Initially, Starbucks denied that it would be integrating “coffee for Bitcoin” as it is commonly called on social media. However, the equity the company has secured in Bakkt is going to allow it accept cryptocurrency payments indirectly. An expert familiar with the matter said that there is significant value from having a brand at this level. For a start, only United States-based customers will be able to enjoy the services. However, more countries will be added in the future.

Bakkt’s Launch Gets Delayed Repeatedly

The team behind Bakkt isn’t just concerned with releasing a functional product. They want to make sure that the platform is regulatory compliant before it is launched. Since the platform isn’t live yet, Starbucks will have to wait until it is to activate the “coffee for Bitcoin Bakkt” function.

The Bakkt platform is a product of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Earlier in the year, it’s CEO, Jeff Sprecher, said that ICE had spent $1 billion on various strategic initiatives including Bakkt. The company’s investment in Bakkt is going to cost them $20 to $25 million in the first quarter. The CEO stressed that the digital assets platform is independent of Intercontinental Exchange.

Bakkt was initially supposed to be launched in August 2018. However, the launch was delayed. The team said that it would be launched in the first quarter of 2019 but that didn’t happen. On the 9th of February, ICE said that it had finalized the acquisition of assets in Rosenthal Collins Group, an asset futures commission merchant.

When the regulatory approval is given, Bakkt is going to be ideal for institutional investors who may have avoided entering into the industry in the past due to regulatory unclarity. It would give Bitcoin more adoption and this will ripple into an increase in the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Do you think the CFTC is going to approve Bitcoin Bakkt? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Max writes about blockchain projects and regulation with a special focus on United States and China. He joined Smarterum after years of writing for various media outlets.


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