Starbucks, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Microsoft and BCG, among others, announced they are working to launch a new company called Bakkt. Along with enabling consumers to use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at Starbucks, Bakkt will leverage Microsoft cloud to create an open and regulated, digital asset ecosystem.
”They’ll now have a U.S.-regulated exchange and they have a licensed warehouse, which is how commodities are stored and that’s going to make it a lot easier for an ETF to come through, ” Kelly, a bitcoin enthusiast, said on CNBC‘s Fast Money.
Starbucks and a major exchange taking cryptocurrency seriously could help bitcoin break through as a mainstream global currency. It may also help boost cryptocurrency prices, which have struggled to find footing since the end of 2017.
Starbucks accepting cryptocurrencies makes them much more mainstream, plus it means users can spend their digital fortunes almost anywhere. And ICE’s participation massively increases the chances of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or baskets of related assets that trade on stock exchanges.
Despite his optimism, bitcoin prices didn’t react to the news as positively as he expected.
Bitcoin last traded around USD 7,000, according to Coinbase data. Bitcoin briefly topped USD 19,000 in December, before losing more than half its value.