Starbucks now holds “significant equity” in the upcoming crypto platform Bakkt, according to a new report. The coffee giant earned its shares as part of a mutually beneficial agreement.
Starbucks will install Bakkt’s payment software in its stores, which customers can use to pay with crypto, reports The Block. The digital assets will be instantly converted to fiat, in order to keep cryptocurrencies off of Starbucks’ books.
The amount of equity Starbucks received in the deal is confidential, but sources “suggest it is disproportionately high given they did not actually make a cash investment.” Starbucks’ partnership with Bakkt was first revealed in August of last year.
Bakkt plans to offer a number of crypto-related services this year. The company, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, is working to launch physically-backed Bitcoin futures, pending approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Phase two of its operation, which includes its partnership with Starbucks and Microsoft, is also set to launch later this year. The second phase is designed to utilize Microsoft’s cloud solutions to allow people to buy, sell, store and spend cryptocurrencies on a global network, powering the aforementioned plan to give Starbucks customers a way to buy food and drinks with crypto.
Back in August, Starbucks vice president of partnerships and payments Maria Smith outlined the company’s plans with Bakkt.
“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US 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.”
Crypto payments are expected to come to Starbucks as early as May of this year.