Update on Starbucks’ bitcoin strategy

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Starbucks has clarified its relationship with crypto by issuing a statement regarding its recent deal with Bakkt. The deal gives Starbucks significant equity in Bakkt, “but at no point does it actually require Starbucks to accept Bitcoin. And, for its part, Starbucks reportedly has no intention of doing so — at least not in the conventional manner,” CCN reports.

The coffee chain told The Next Web that it is not accepting bitcoin in a direct way, but that it will create more ways for customers to convert bitcoin and other assets into fiat, which can then be used at their stores: “Our role as the flagship retailer for Bakkt is to consult and develop applications for customers to convert their digital assets into US dollars, which can then be used in our stores. We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks. As we continue to move forward with this work, we anticipate we’ll have more to share in the coming months.”

It is predicted that what Starbucks may offer is a gift card scenario, and some kind of Bakkt-powered seamless payment platform is another possibility. Sadly, it won’t be accepting bitcoin as payment for coffee; at least, not yet. As The Next Web’s Yessi Bellow Perez says:

“Starbucks allowing consumers to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat is certainly not the same as Starbucks accepting payments in digital currency.”

What does seem likely is that the deal is a way to test the case for expanding payment options.

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