Starbucks’ Howard Schultz Skeptical On Bitcoin, Hopeful For Blockchain

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Bitcoin has yet another naysayer. This time, it’s Starbucks’ executive chairman and former CEO, Howard Schultz, who doesn’t believe the cryptocurrency is “legitimate.”

“One or a few legitimate cryptocurrencies are coming, but bitcoin is not one of them,” said Schultz during a post-earnings conference call last week, according to CNBC. “I don’t believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future.”

Schultz joined Starbucks in 1982 as director of operations and marketing, and served twice as CEO. He handed over that position to Kevin Johnson last April.

Of course, Schultz isn’t the first executive to express doubts about bitcoin. While JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief executive Jamie Dimon recently said he regrets calling it “a fraud,” he does think that virtual currencies won’t be able to ultimately compete with the dollar. And earlier this month, Warren Buffett said he believes the bitcoin craze will come to an ending that won’t be good news for investors.

Even business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, didn’t have many positive things to say about bitcoin.

Schultz did admit that he sees a future in blockchain: “I’m talking about … the possibility of what could happen — not in the near term, but in a few years from now — with a consumer application in which there’s trust and legitimacy with regard to a digital currency. I’m not bringing this up because Starbucks is announcing that we are forming a digital currency or we’re investing in this. I’m bringing this up … as we think about the future of our company and the future of consumer behavior.”

In fact, Schultz has discussed the possibility of all Starbucks locations being cashless in the future. Johnson confirmed that the company is testing out a cashless store in Seattle.

“Payment and payment platforms are continuing to evolve,” and Starbucks wants to stay ahead of the curve, Johnson said.