Coffee lovers can soon use bitcoin payments to get their coffee or frappuccino at Starbucks. The coffee company and Bakkt are working on a consumer-focused Bitcoin payment application. They want to test the app somewhere during the first half of 2020. Bakkt revealed the development of the app in a blog post. The initiative is part of their efforts to push bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption.
The upcoming payments app will allow consumers to spend their bitcoin on coffee at Starbucks. It’s also likely that a loyalty program will be integrated into the system as well, perhaps through loyalty points or through a cashback reward system.
Bakkt’s chief product officer Mike Blandina stated that the company wants to ‘unlock the value of digital assets through consumer payments’. For example, consumers are already used to digital value, as they have been collecting points and rewards for years. Bakkt wants to create ‘a consumer platform for managing a digital asset portfolio’. Here consumers can store, trade or transfer their assets.
We’ll be launching a consumer app to make it easy for consumers to discover and unlock the value of digital assets, as well as ways in which they can transact or track them. Merchants gain access to a broader set of customers with expanded spending power.Chief Product Officer Bakkt, Mike Blandina – blog post (October 28th 2019)
Starbucks moves into crypto
Starbucks and Bakkt are partners. This would mark the Seattle coffee company’s first major move into crypto. However, it’s not. Earlier this year Starbucks, GameStop, Whole Foods and other merchants started accepting cryptocurrency payments through blockchain startup Flexa. This was only a small test with fifteen stores in the United States.
This happened after Starbucks’ involvement with Bakkt came to light. In March it became clear that the coffee company was heavily involved in the development of a payment and merchant platform for crypto payments.
In addition the Seattle based coffee behemoth is implementing blockchain technology into its supply chain. This way consumers are able to get more information about the coffee they are drinking. Starbucks is using Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service to track its coffee shipments.
It’s not yet known when the app will be updated to be used by consumers. Shareholders received a demo of the technology back in March. Starbucks has been in talks with farmers in Costa Rica, Colombia and Rwanda to find out how the blockchain can further benefit the production process.
Also published on Medium.