While most economic commentators agree that the Bitcoin bubble has well and truly burst, Starbucks has now announced that they are investing in the virtual currency.
The Seattle-based coffee giant has announced that it will collaborate with Intercontinental Exchange Inc., a bitcoin exchange operator, to “create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.” The new platform, called Bakkt, will use Microsoft software to create a ‘global ecosystem’ for digital currency. However, it does not mean that customers will be able to pay for coffee with bitcoin.
“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 U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments for 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.”
Earlier this year, former executive chairman Howard Shultz expressed a dislike of the virtual currency, saying there were no plans to invest. “I don’t believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future,” he said.