Starbucks, Microsoft, and ICE to launch Bakkt

Cryptocurrencies have recently taken another huge step towards entering the mainstream. A new blockchain platform is in the works, and it will allow users to trade and spend cryptocurrencies on a global scale. The organizations behind this new platform are none other than well-known household brands like Starbucks and Microsoft. They have teamed up with the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to create this new system where cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be traded and used. The launch of the platform will be in November this year, and here we will take a look at what the whole platform is about.

What is Bakkt?

The name of the platform is Bakkt, and it will be drawing upon each organization’s unique offerings. For example will the cloud technology developed by Microsoft be an integral part of the Bakkt platform. This will help develop the digital asset ecosystem which Bakkt will become. One of the measures that will be implemented by ICE is the exchange of fiat money for Bitcoin. Futures contracts and physical warehousing will mean that once the contracts in this industry expire, the contract owners will get paid in Bitcoin instead of fiat money. The CEO of Bakkt, Kelly Loeffler, said:

“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. We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”

Investors are flocking to the project

The main investors of the project are Microsoft and ICE, but many more investment firms have shown huge interest in the Bakkt project. Among these are some well-known names, including Alan Howard, Susquehanna International Group, Galaxy Digital, Eagle Seven. Fortress Investment Group, Horizons Ventures, Protocol Ventures, and Pantera Capital. Interestingly, Starbucks is not listed as an investor in the Bakkt project, despite being a key partner in the venture.

What will Starbuck’s role be?

Starbucks coffee shops can be found on pretty much every street corner. Anyone who has been on their way anywhere will have come across one, and probably had a large caffe latte as well. This places the company in the unique position of being at the forefront of high street business. For that reason, Starbucks will be assisting the project by developing the payment methods that customers will be using on the high street once Bakkt launches. On this subject, the VP of partnerships and payments, Maria Smith, has said:

“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.”

How does Bakkt work?

Much like a real-time cryptocurrency exchange combined with a debit card, Bakkt will allow customers to spend cryptocurrencies in Starbucks to purchase coffee. Once the transaction has been made, the cryptocurrencies will automatically be converted into US dollars. All we have to do is wait until November, and then we can all purchase out Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew at our local Starbucks.

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