Starbucks is not accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method, despite media reports that alluded to that.
According to a report in Motherboard, the company said in an email statement that it is “important to clarify that we are not accepting digital assets at Starbucks. At the current time, we are announcing the launch of trading and conversion of bitcoin. However, we will continue to talk with customers and regulators as the space evolves. […] Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin.”
The confusion stemmed from an announcement Friday that Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the NYSE, announced late last week that it is launching an exchange for digital assets. In a press release, it said it plans to form a new company, Bakkt, which intends to leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated global ecosystem for digital assets. Intercontinental Exchange said Bakkt is working with BCG, Microsoft, Starbucks and others to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a global network. The company said the Bakkt ecosystem is expected to include federally regulated markets and warehousing, along with merchant and consumer applications. The first use case for the new exchange will be trading of bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency.
As part of the announcement, Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments for Starbucks, said the coffee chain operator will play a “pivotal role” in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert digital assets into U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks.
“As a leader in mobile pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers,” she said.
Starbucks’ statement to Motherboard puts any speculation to bed that the coffee chain operator would accept digital tokens as a payment method.