Whenever it comes to bitcoin, anything is possible. For a brief window, bitcoin enthusiasts were overjoyed after reading that Starbucks might start accepting bitcoin.
However, it could not be farther from the truth. Media houses such as Fortune and TechCrunch reported that the coffee chain would be accepting bitcoin. To be fair, TechCrunch had said that the coffee chain was merely hinting at accepting bitcoin.
Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments for Starbucks, had said, “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. As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.”
The confusion first arose when Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), a leading operator of global exchanges, clearing houses, data and listings services, announced last week that it planned to form a new company, Bakkt, which intended to leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.
Although the press release issued by the company did talk of bitcoin and “buying, selling, trading of digital assets,” nowhere did the brand say that it would be accepting bitcoin as payments.
The exact words were, “The new company is working with a marquee group of organizations including BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks, and others, to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.”
In a statement to news portal Motherboard, the company said it was an exaggeration. A spokesperson 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. “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.”
Starbucks, along with other companies will merely help people spend digital assets on a global network.
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