On August the 3rd, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a very important operator of global exchanges, announced that it is planning to create the company Bakkt, with the intention to create a regulated and global ecosystem for digital assets. In order to do so, ICE will be leveraging Microsoft cloud solutions and will work with organizations such as BCG, Starbucks, and many others. The purpose of this agreement is to enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell and store virtual currencies seamlessly.
Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, commented on the matter:
“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.”
Bakkt has been designed to work as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets. The platform will be promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility in the market. It will help in building an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce. Investors in Bakkrt will be more than just Intercontinental Exchange and Microsoft’s venture capital arm. Other companies will be an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group.
“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,” explained Maria Smith, Vice President, 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.”
Starbucks Not Accepting Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency users and enthusiasts were very excited about this information because they thought Starbucks was going to start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a means of payment for its products. But it is important to mention that Starbucks will not be accepting virtual currencies at its stores. In an email, Starbucks informed that it will not work with Bitcoin, at least for the moment.
“It is important to clarify that we are not accepting digital assets 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 the space evolves […] Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin.”
Additionally, Starbucks commented in a statement that the closest that customers would be to pay for their coffee in Bitcoin is by purchasing US Dollars from the exchange and then use them at the stores. At the moment there are just some shops and stores accepting bitcoin or any other virtual currency. But for example, the Brisbane Airport in Australia is the first in the world accepting Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.
In this way, it became a crypto-friendly airport. In order to do so, Brisbane Airport Corporations’ (BAC) partnered with the payment provider TravelByBit back in May the 29th.