Coffee giant Starbucks may soon allow customers to pay for their drinks using Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, Bakkt recently announced that it has launched an early access program that integrates Bakkt Cash with the Starbucks mobile app. At the moment, however, this crypto payment option is only available for Starbucks customers in limited beta.
On March 17, Bakkt President Adam White announced that the long-awaited Bakkt Cash integration with the Starbucks mobile app was finally taking off. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Bakkt’s parent company stated back in August 2018 that they were looking to work with Starbucks to set up retail applications that would accept crypto payments. White had also teased about the integration in a 2019 interview and it appears the popular Bitcoin derivatives trading platform is now making good on its promise.
Although Bakkt Cash may eventually become available to all Starbucks mobile app users, White stressed that customers would have to sign up for the Early Access Program on the platform in order to take advantage of this new payment integration.
Starbucks has hailed this development, saying it remains a “strategic launch partner” for Bakkt’s dollar-denominated digital wallet.
“We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks.” the coffee giant chain commented.
Bakkt looking to offer loyalty point programs
Incidentally, Bakkt has described its plans to roll out a loyalty point programs and crypto payments on a single app since last month when it acquired Bridge2, a leading loyalty solutions provider. In it’s Monday blog post, Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina essentially put loyalty points and bitcoin in the same conversation with plans to launch the wallet later during the summer.
“The ability to trade different digital assets is part of that but it will be a merchant-by-merchant launch…You may be able to trade certain loyalty points but not others.” He said.
“At Bakkt, we take a broad view of digital assets. Despite the size of this market, consumers still find digital assets to be difficult to access, confusing to keep track of, and challenging to use” the company added. “Whether it’s miles from your favorite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet.”
Bakkt’s Series B Fundraising Round
The news of Bakkt’s crucial partnership with Starbucks comes at the heels of reports that the physically-settled Bitcoin futures trading platform has closed its Series B fundraising round. Participants included some big names including Microsoft‘s M12, Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, PayU, Pantera Capital, Goldfinch Partners, and of course the Intercontinental Exchange. Bakkt was able to raise as much as $300 million during the round, which the company says it would be beneficial in achieving its goals for the 2020 fiscal year with a keen focus more on consumer adoption and the overall growth of ICE.