Bitcoin Daily: Starbucks’ Potential Blockchain App, Bill Gates Calls Crypto ‘Super Risky’


Bitcoin may soon rise again – to $11,000, Coindesk reported. The popular digital currency rose to a high of $10,443 on Monday (Feb. 26). A nearly 30 percent rise in trading volumes – according to CoinMarketCap – helped to fuel that increase. As of Tuesday at 8:43 p.m., bitcoin was trading at $10,688.67, according to Coindesk.

And an eCommerce retailer is planning on introducing its own cryptocurrency, TechCrunch reported. Rakuten plans to introduce Rakuten Coin, which will be created with blockchain technology. Rakuten’s CEO, Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani, announced the plan at the Mobile World Congress in Spain.

Bill Gates, though, is not entirely sold on crypto. In a Reddit post, Gates said the main feature of cryptocurrencies is “their anonymity” – which is not good, he said, because the government needs to track money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist funding. Of course, there’s an issue with illegal drugs, too. “Right now, cryptocurrencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs, so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way,” Gates said in the post. “I think the speculative wave around ICOs [initial coin offerings] and cryptocurrencies is super risky for those who go long.”

But, in the retail space, Starbucks may integrate blockchain technology into its business in the future, Fox Business reported. “I think blockchain technology is probably the rails in which an integrated app at Starbucks will be sitting on top of,” Howard Schultz, former CEO of the coffee chain, told Fox Business on Tuesday (Feb. 27).

In Japan, the Financial Service Agency (FSA) is considering revisions to laws and regulations that could involve initial coin offerings (ICOs), Coindesk reported. According to Sankei Shimbun, a Japanese news source, “There is an increasing demand for amendment of the law, and the FSA is planning to consider suspension of inappropriate ICOs.”

And is starting an accelerator program that, yes, includes blockchain startups, Forbes reported. The first companies to work with the accelerator include Bluzelle, which makes a database service fueled by the blockchain and Nuggets, a payments platform built with blockchain technology.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.