Starbucks to Allow Bitcoin Conversion to Dollars for Coffee Payment

Starbucks, popularly known as the one-stop store for coffee in over 28,000 locations around the world, has made plans to allow its customers to convert Bitcoin to Dollars. The fiat money can then be used to pay for coffee at any of its stores. Consequently, this is will expand the crypto market since more people will be transacting with the digital asset.

Media Outlets Believed That Starbucks May Begin Selling Bitcoin

In November, several media outlets reported that Starbucks might be willing to sell Bitcoin at its stalls, come 2019. It was also said that Bakt, an Intercontinental Exchange is going to partner with the company to offer its financial services to them. Here, the use of Bitcoin as a method of payment will be proposed to Starbucks.

While the latest turn of event digresses from what was expected, it is still exciting to crypto enthusiasts that Starbucks still has plans in that direction. They may not directly exchange coffee for Bitcoin due to federal regulations and the volatility of the virtual currency, but they will still be encouraging its use.

Enabling Customers to Convert Bitcoin to Dollars

Accordingly, customers will be able to convert the Bitcoin stored in their wallet to Dollars at any of the company’s coffee location. This will create an avenue for cryptocurrency to be a part of people’s daily life. It can be attributed to the fact that most people can’t go through the day without coffee. Also, Starbucks may be their favorite stop to get their supplement for the day.

Crypto enthusiasts have analyzed how this may significantly impact on the cryptocurrency market especially the trading volume of Bitcoin. Based on analyses, if at least 1 percent of those who patronize Starbucks stores trade their Bitcoin for dollars, it could help to stabilize Bitcoin’s price. This is because the market capitalization is bound to increase with more people involved in trades.

More Private Companies Accepting Bitcoin for Payments

Asides from Starbucks, other privately owned companies are now accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment. IvyPay, for instance, allows Australians to pay their bills with Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies. The company’s platform also enables users to convert these assets to AUS dollars. Thereafter, it is sent to their bank account.

The Government of Texas in November also launched a platform that will allow taxes to be paid using Bitcoin. Therefore, it is the first state in the US to officially accept the digital asset. According to the Government, this is meant to give users the impression that Ohio is a tech-friendly State.

Author: Grace Joseph
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Starbucks and ICE’s Bakkt partnership: Does it mean anything for cryptocurrency space?

New York Stock Exchange parent, Fortune 500 and Fortune Future 50 company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced in August its plans to create a new firm, Bakkt, which intended to utilize Microsoft Cloud solutions to create an open and regulated worldwide ecosystem for digital assets.

The new firm is collaborating with such organizations as Microsoft, BCG, Starbucks and others to develop an integrated platform that allows for institutions and consumers to purchase, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless worldwide network.

Federally regulated markets and warehousing along with consumer and merchant apps are expected to make up the Bakkt ecosystem. The first use cases of the ecosystem will be for trading and conversion of bitcoin versus fiat currencies.

Does Starbucks’ involvement in this project mean anything for the digital currency sector? I asked Sheri Kaiserman, 20+ year Wall Street veteran and principal advisor & co-founder at, and Jason Davis, former senior UX designer at Wells Fargo and CEO of Hoard, a platform that allows for seamless integration and management of both crypto and fiat currencies. (Thanks to Lauren Epstein and account supervisor Stephanie Rosenblum at PR agency 5W for coordinating).

Starbucks and ICE’s Bakkt partnership: Does it mean anything for cryptocurrency space?

Sheri Kaiserman

Kaiserman: “I think it is premature if everyone is thinking that people will start using their crypto to make purchases at Starbucks.  First of all, from what I understand, Starbucks’s role in this partnership is more as a consultant to help develop crypto related applications for customers.

Second of all, even if Starbucks did accept crypto as payment, I would not expect many people to pay with it, certainly not in the US, where most of the people who own crypto hold it for speculative purposes.

There are a lot of expensive lessons the community is able to learn from the people who spent their bitcoin in the early days.  The first purchase that was made with Bitcoin was for 2 pizzas costing 10,000 bitcoin. I’d be happy to buy someone a cup of coffee for just one tenth of a bitcoin!”

Starbucks and ICE’s Bakkt partnership: Does it mean anything for cryptocurrency space?

Jason Davis

Davis: “The press release issued by Starbucks pertaining to customer purchases using cryptocurrency is nothing more than hype. Starbucks customers are already spending their bitcoin, as well as many other cryptocurrencies, at Starbucks retail locations using crypto-backed Visa debit cards. In fact, digital currency holders are making similar purchases all over the world and have been for years. The most exciting thing we can gleam from the press releases is Starbucks is talking about Bitcoin to the general public. This is a positive direction for the retail sector.

However, what this announcement didn’t emphasize is the corner merchants are still backed into. With every consumer purchase, merchants are beholden to 3 percent transaction fees AND 3 to 5 day settlement times. Cryptocurrencies, and companies like Hoard that support crypto-commerce see a different future. One where merchants aren’t subject to a single medium of exchange backed by a slow and centralized intermediary. Instead, they can transact directly with the counterparty and settle the transaction in seconds without paying exorbitant fees.

Lastly, the partnership with Bakkt and Bakkt’s capabilities are still to be seen. Cryptocurrency companies make many claims yet very few are viable at this time. From what we know, buying Bitcoin through Bakkt consists of a futures contracts. Until that futures contract is converted into real asset ownership, consumers won’t be in full possession of their bitcoin. This is in direct opposition of the original position of the Bitcoin white paper, an electronic peer-to-peer cash system. I’m interested to see how this plays out but I know first-hand far more robust and integrative financial solutions are coming to retail consumers. This deal isn’t it.”

Image credits:

Starbucks headquarters – Public domain image by Wesley2048 at the wikipedia project

Photos of Davis and Kaiserman – Via 5W

Author: Tabish Faraz
Image Credit 

Starbucks is Promoting Cryptocurrency!

Bitcoin (BTC)–Friday brought about a rather momentous announcement for the adoption of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, when news broke that Starbucks is working on a collaboration to begin accepting crypto through a fiat intermediary.


Called Bakkt, a global platform and ecosystem for digital assets, the exchange will allow for customers to trade crypto for fiat and participate in the purchase of items at Starbucks. While the company has since clarified that they will not be accepting Bitcoin directly, it does provide some level of validation for the industry in addition to giving the currency some much needed adoption-related exposure.

Bakkt Backed by Starbucks, Microsoft and More

Bakkt, the proposed exchange for simplifying the swap of BTC and fiat for market purposes, represents a collaboration between Starbucks, Microsoft and Intercontinental Exchange. Original articles ran with some misleading headlines that gave the appearance Starbucks was planning to outright accept Bitcoin for coffee. Instead, the company has made its intention clear that it wants to operate with cryptocurrency–albeit through the presence of a third party intermediary.

The news comes as a somewhat lackluster advancement for most diehard cryptocurrency fans. Investors and members of the community have had numerous opportunities to work with payment platforms, BitPay being one of the more popular, which convert BTC to fiat for purchases. However, the intermediary step neglects one of the primary functions of crypto: that it can work fine as a secure, digital payment in its present form without the need of exchanging to government currencies.


Nonetheless, interest from Starbucks and Microsoft is positive news for advancing Bitcoin’s brand and growing greater merchant-based adoption. Brian Kelly, a regular contributor to CNBC’s crypto shows, found the move to be overwhelmingly positive,

“It’s very big news for bitcoin because people say, ‘Where can you spend it?’ Now at every single Starbucks. Starbucks is seeing some kind of demand for acceptance of crypto and bitcoin, and to tie up with a huge regulated institution like the ICE is really positive for the space.”

Starbucks also held to its position as an innovator, viewing cryptocurrencies and digital assets as a possible extension for the company to stay at the forefront of societal shifts. Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments for Starbucks, said in the statement confirming Bakkt that,
“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.”

While expectations were tempered via the follow-up announcement by Starbucks, clarifying that the company had no intention to deal directly with cryptocurrency, it does provide an avenue for greater exposure that could lead to direct BTC payments. At the very least, it helps fill the primary argument against cryptocurrency: that despite being defined as digital money, Bitcoin and other currencies have failed in giving users adequate outlets for spending.

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Author: Michael Lavere
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