Starbucks is partnering with the owner of the New York Stock Exchange and Microsoft to develop a virtual currency trading platform.
The platform is the brainchild of Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of NYSE. On Friday, it announced the formation of a new company called Bakkt that’ll develop an open system to help consumers and institutions buy, sell, and store digital assets.
“Its first use cases will be for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies, as Bitcoin is today the most liquid digital currency,” Intercontinental Exchange said in a statement.
Among the backers is Starbucks, which isn’t revealing details about its involvement in the project. Nevertheless, the company signaled it does eventually want to accept virtual currencies at its 28,000 stores.
“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,” company vice president Maria Smith said in a statement.
This suggests Starbucks won’t accept Bitcoin directly; it’ll just help you exchange your virtual currencies into US dollars through the company’s app.
Bitcoin was originally intended to replace fiat currencies when it emerged almost a decade ago, but one problem has been its extreme volatility. After reaching a record high of $20,000 per coin back in December, the virtual currency is now valued at about $7,400, and the price swings continue to this day.
How the new Bakkt platform will solve any of this isn’t totally clear. But Intercontinental Exchange said it’s trying to bring some confidence to the “digital asset” marketplace with a platform that promotes “greater efficiency, security, and utility.”
“We aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale,” Intercontinental Exchange’s CEO Jeffrey Sprecher said in a statement.
Starbucks declined to provide a timetable on integrating its coffee locations with