Starbucks Going Crypto, Received ‘Significant Equity’ in Bakkt to Integrate Bitcoin Payments in Stores

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.

Source: https://dailyhodl.com/2019/03/04/starbucks-going-crypto-received-significant-equity-in-bakkt-to-integrate-bitcoin-payments-in-stores-report/

Major US Grocery Chain Kroger Ditches Visa, Discusses Accepting Bitcoin

Major US grocery chain Kroger recently banned Visa from a regional supermarket in protest of the payment processor’s “excessive transaction fees,” announcing that hundreds of stores and fueling stations would halt Visa payments in April. However, the story has taken a surprising turn, with Kroger representatives reportedly considering Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as one potential alternative payment system.

Morgan Creek: Kroger Should Replace Visa with Bitcoin

Morgan Creek Digital partner, Bitcoinevangelist, and popular podcast host Anthony Pompliano got the ball rolling when he said that his team was willing to fly to meet Kroger executives to discuss the use case of Lightning Network-enabled Bitcoin as a low-fee alternative to Visa.

Pompliano then updated his nearly 200,000 Twitter followers on March 3, revealing that he had personally spoken to a Kroger Digital representative about helping the grocery chain add crypto payments.

Kroger Puts Credit Card Cartel on Notice

Kroger is drawing a line in the sand by banning Visa payments.

Kroger stated on March 1 that 142 supermarkets and 108 fuel center locations would stop accepting Visa by April 3 in order to maintain low prices for customers. Visa is by far the world’s largest credit card issuer with 323 million users compared to 191 million Mastercard users, making the ban a bold move on Kroger’s part.

The monopoly enjoyed by Visa has perhaps enabled it to inflate fees beyond market expectations. In this case, this is due to the sense that chains are essentially obligated to service Visa users or risk losing their business.

However, Kroger is saying no to high fees and drawing a line in the sand, leaving room for low-fee alternatives like Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to state their case. As a leading traditional grocery retailer in the country, the move could embolden other dissatisfied companies to follow suit.

Kroger Discusses Bitcoin Integration

While the Lightning Network is still in its early days, promoters are optimisitc that it could help Bitcoin become an everyday payment instrument.

Kroger is reportedly considering Bitcoin as a payment option, with Anthony Pompliano updating Twitter followers yesterday to state that he had spoken personally with Kroger Digital representatives. He added that it looked like “things are progressing,” praising the forward-thinking mentality of the major retailer.

The acceptance of Bitcoin among hundreds of supermarkets and fueling centers would, of course, be huge for the cryptocurrency industry.

Adoption has been on a steady upward trend regardless of the volatile or negative price action seen this past year, and with more and more press coverage and real-world use cases for cryptocurrencies seen in the public eye, the fundamentals for cryptocurrency technology are better than ever before.

The move could expose millions of people to Bitcoin in the context of it being a rapid, low-cost payment solution for everyday goods and services, transforming the perception of some onlookers that Bitcoin is a speculative asset only.

At the moment, the talks are tentative at best. However, regardless of the outcome, it seems that cryptocurrency adoption as an alternative to the increasingly dated services of companies like Visa is inevitable.

For now, as Morgan Creek Digital’s Anthony Pompliano suggests, all that remains is to “stay tuned” and watch as the situation unfolds.

-Source: https://www.ccn.com/kroger-ditches-visa-discusses-accepting-bitcoin/amp

ABRA’S BLOCKCHAIN APP TO LET USERS INVEST IN FRACTIONS OF STOCKS, ETFS

U.S.-based crypto startup Abra is adding a new feature to its blockchain-based app that will allow global users to buy portions of traditional investment instruments.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, Abra said the app will utilize the bitcoin blockchain and smart contracts technologies to support fractional investments in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The app already offers investment in 50 fiat currencies and over 30 cryptocurrencies. “Just as consumers can own a fraction of a bitcoin, they can soon use Abra to own fractions of high-priced stocks and ETFs,” the firm said.

The feature will be made available to investors in over 155 countries, offering zero trading fees for the remainder of 2019 on stock and ETF investments, the firm said, adding that the minimum investment is $5. Interested users can currently sign up for early access on the company website.

Original Link: https://www.coindesk.com/abras-blockchain-app-to-let-users-make-small-stock-etf-investments

Increase Your Speed And Quickness With This Drill

If you want to increase your speed & quickness for sports or just for fun, then the Agility Ladder Drill is perfect for that.

Benefits:

  1. Increased Speed
  2. Increased Quickness
  3. Better Body Control
  4. Better Coordination

Directions: Facing the side of the agility ladder, you are going to touch in and out of each box with both feet. The best approach is to follow a four count of in – in – out – out. Repeat drill on both sides of the ladder.

Interesting Nutrition Fact:

  • Eat 3-7 eggs per week

“An egg a day is A-OK.”  Here’s why: Eggs contain a heavy-hitting 4 grams of pure muscle-building amino acids inside every shell, in addition to boasting some of the highest naturally available doses around of a vitamin called choline, which is thought to help enhance memory. “They’re the gold standard in terms of providing all the right nutrients for muscle growth.”

Drill Link: Agility Ladder Drill

Photo by Wodstar

What Will You Chase If You Don’t Have Purpose?

Are you currently searching for your purpose in life?

Are you in your purpose, but need more motivation or inspiration?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

If any of these questions apply to you, then check out my guy Dr. Clarence M. Lee Jr. MD. His latest video “What Will You Chase If You Don’t Have Purpose?”, will answer them for you, and help guide you towards your purpose in life. This video is truly worth every moment of viewing. This video is apart of a continuous series that is ongoing. Be on the lookout for more great content.

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If You Are Trying To Tone You Should Check This Out

Toning up and losing weight aren’t quite the same. Weight loss is straightforward as it simply involves lowering your body weight, which can be done by dieting alone. Toning however is a different matter. For a toned physique, you need tight, defined muscles, which means hitting the gym for some resistance training. Cardio may be the way many choose to lose weight, but making weight training a mainstay in your gym routine can complement your cardio routine and will lead to faster results both in terms of weight loss and toning.

Schedule

Decide how many days you can get to the gym each week. Ideally you need a minimum of three days and a maximum of six. Dedicate three weekly sessions to weight training. Make these total-body workouts, in which you work every major muscle group in a single session. This burns more calories and fat than training just one or two muscle groups each workout, writes trainer Nate Green in “Built for Show.” Leave at least one day between each weights workout. For your cardio, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends three 20- to 60-minute sessions of vigorous activity each week. If you can get to the gym six times per week, perform weights and cardio on different days; if not, then do both in each workout.

Weights

The best method for weight training is to choose multi-joint exercises that hit lots of different muscle groups, notes trainer Jacqueline Silvestri Banks on the Fox News website. Moves such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups and rows should make up the majority of your program. Perform two lower-body and three or four upper-body exercises each session, each for three to four sets of six to 10 repetitions. This goes against the traditional recommendation of using light weights for higher reps for toning, but lifting heavier provides a greater anabolic response, which actually leads to faster fat burning, notes Banks.

Cardio

For weight loss and toning cardio, you can’t beat interval training. Increasing your cardio intensity by doing intervals not only saves you time, but also means you keep burning fat long after you finish your session, says strength coach Jeremy DuVall on the “Mens Fitness” website. Interval training involves alternating between all-out bursts of maximum effort and slightly longer, slightly easier bouts of cardio. After a warmup, work at maximum intensity for 10 seconds, then ease back into a steady speed for one minute and 20 seconds. Repeat this protocol for 20 minutes. The beauty of interval training is that you can use any gym cardio machine, or try something a little different such as sprinting outside.

Considerations

Diet is key too — you won’t lose weight and tone up unless you also reduce your food intake. Get rid of the junk food from your diet, focus on unprocessed foods that keep you feeling full, such as vegetables and fruits, lean meats, dairy and whole grains. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week; you’ll need to cut 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. Reducing your daily calorie intake by 500 will yield a 1-pound loss each week; adding exercise should take you closer to the 2-pounds per week mark. If you hit a weight loss plateau, add 10 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio after each interval workout.

 By: Mike Samuels

Have You Heard Of This? Music That’ll Make You Dominate

Logic has took over the rap game with his new track Flexicution. If you like rap music in any way then you’re in for a treat here. 

Flexicution is the combination of words “Flex” and “Execution”. It was created by Logic, who explained it on Twitter as: “a term and funny made up word for killing SHIT.”

The song is a braggadocious rap track filled with references to the recent success of Logic’s sophomore album, The Incredible True Story.

The outro is a duet between Logic and his wife, Jess Andrea, with John Lindahl contributing the male falsetto vocals.


Logic also spoke about “Flexicution” in an interview with HardKnockTV.
-Official Video Below

 

Urban Armor Gear case review: The Ultimate Smartphone Protection

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are in the hands of millions of customersA huge number of those new iPhone owners are going to want a case to their device in order to protect their pricy iPhone from inevitable scrapes and bumps.

Urban Armor Gear, renowned producers of robust cases for tablets and smartphones, are back with their latest offering for iPhone.

Urban Armor Gear’s Folio ($40)  case for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are sold as two separate models called Rogue Folio and Scout Folio, which come in two colors, red and black. Unlike other wallet folio-style cases, UAG’s Folio offers a hefty amount of protection — the case meets military drop test standards. UAG’s Folio case even offers button coverage, and a significant lip on the case provides screen protection even when the folio’s cover is off. Inside the folio cover is a slot that can hold three credit cards. The folio cover uses a magnetic strip to remain closed, which works well. 

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