New details about Starbucks’ partnership with United States cryptocurrency platform Bakkt suggest the coffee giant will accept Bitcoin (BTC)-based payments after an equity deal, cryptocurrency industry news outlet The Block reported on Mar. 4.
Starbucks, which became known as a founding partner in Bakkt upon its unveiling in August last year, will reportedly support its software to allow U.S. customers to pay for products.
As The Block reported, no actual cryptocurrency will end up processed by the chain, as the crypto will be instantly transferred into fiat.
Still in the final pre-release stages, Bakkt aims to become a major on-ramp for investors looking to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies. Among its plans are the issuance of physically-delivered Bitcoin futures contracts, scheduled for later this year depending on regulatory approval.
Starbucks had originally denied any idea that its input would result in “coffee for Bitcoin.” Now, it appears that the company has secured considerable equity in Bakkt, and in return will accept crypto payment indirectly.
“There’s high value from having a brand at this level,” the publication quoted an unnamed expert close to the deal as commenting. The Block notes that only U.S. customers will have access to Bakkt’s BTC-USD services at first.
As previously noted, Bakkt has faced ongoing delays to its initial launch as executives stressed the need for full regulatory compliance. The Block, citing an unnamed source, notes that Starbucks will wait to activate the crypto-fiat coffee purchase abilities until after Bakkt’s platform has launched and shown a capacity for holding and storing crypto.
The Block’s source reportedly said:
“In many ways, there are limits to what Starbucks can do with partnerships because there are limits to what customers can expect,”
Grappling with the patchwork U.S. regulatory landscape, some commentators have been buoyantabout the platform’s ability to increase the public profile of Bitcoin in particular, opening up cryptocurrency as a trustworthy mainstream asset.