In August 2018, when it was first unveiled that Starbucks has received an equity stake in ICE’s Bakkt platform, then it caused a flutter in the market why Starbucks showed interest in the platform, which also has backing from Microsoft.
The amount of equity stake Starbucks received is highly confidential, but sources suggest that the equity stake received or acquired is very high. According to the spokesperson of the team, both the entity has entered into a mutually beneficial agreement and has pledged for continued adoption.
The partnership would allow users to pay for items at Starbucks with Bitcoin that would be auto-converted to fiat by Bakkt’s software. But Starbucks has denied such an arrangement with Bakkt or Bitcoin payments could become a reality for customers.
A Starbucks spokesperson then wrote:
“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 space evolves. Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin.”
Starbucks V.P of partnerships and payments, Maria Smith outlined the company’s plan:
“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.”
Now it has to be seen how Starbucks will get benefitted, but the delay in the launch of Bakkt platform is costing the company in terms of ROI and liquidity.
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