You might have recently heard rumblings of Starbucks and Bitcoin in the same sentence.
These not so quiet rumblings began with Jeff Specher. Jeff Specher is the chairman of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. Jeff has just launched a new venture — a venture with aims to make Bitcoin a global trusted currency. How? By creating a federally regulated crypto ecosystem — Bakkt.
“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets,”
Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange.
Regulated Super-Highway-On-ramp for Bitcoin.
So Starbucks is not creating Crypto. However the real news behind this headline is way more exciting. Bakkt will function as a gigantic on-ramp into the realm of Bitcoin.
Every broker dealer connected to ICE and the NYSE would have Bakkt as a possibility to trade. Each broker knowing settlement would be within it’s own warehouses and ecosystem and regulated. A regulated custodian of this magnitude is massive news.
The really juicy news for cryptocurrency is the very real and present possibility that fund managers in the US could be buying and selling Bitcoin for clients as soon as November this year! A likely run of bitcoin-backed Exchange Traded Funds or mutual funds from Baby Boomer to Millennial investment dollars seems on the cards. The scope and scale of this project is beyond exciting.
So… Coffee & Crypto?
Again, not yet. Starbucks is the leader in the field of mobile App payment solutions — having more users than Google and Apple Pay — they hope to bring this applied knowledge to Bakkt.
“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,”
Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks.
The Promised Landing…
The long-term feature of the Bakkt ecosystem is an intention to disrupt traditional retail payment shifting from credit cards to Bitcoin wallets at the register. So stay tuned. On Ramping traditional investors seems like just the beginning.