Seattle based coffee company Starbucks is in talks with Microsoft and Intercontinental Exchange to work on a new digital platform that will allow customers to pay with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The three companies are likely to come together to create a company named Bakkt which will allow the customers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend cryptocurrencies on the global network.
The project is expected to be wrapped by November and will convert bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to US dollar that can be used to buy products at Starbucks.
In an official release that was issued by Starbucks on Friday, Intercontinental Exchange founder and CEO, Jeffrey C. Sprecher said "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 is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility,” said Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt in the stament. “We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”
According to the release, the 'Bakkt' ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing along with merchant and consumer applications. Its first use cases will be for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies, as Bitcoin is today the most liquid digital currency.
In addition to Intercontinental Exchange and M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, investors in Bakkt are expected to include, among others, an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Alan Howard, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, and Susquehanna International Group, LLP.
Cryptocurrecy's volatility has made it an unreliable option for payments. The most evident instance is the variability of bitcoin value which has dropped by nearly 50 percent this year but also witnesses changes of hundreds of dollars in a single day.
However, with a market giant such as Starbucks, which has its root in several countries around the world, taking cryptocurrencies seriously, the digital asset is likely to have a breakthrough as a mainstream currency.