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.


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.


Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on Bitcoin: ‘We’ve Seen Massive Value Creation’

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak declared that he thinks “we’ve seen massive value creation” when asked about Bitcoin’s (BTC) potential in an interview with Bloomberg published on Feb. 26.

When Bloomberg asked Wozniak if he still expects Bitcoin to become the world’s currency in the future — an idea he expressed in June last year — after “we’ve seen massive value destruction in Bitcoin,” the entrepreneur countered:

“I’m not sure I can buy that we’ve seen massive value destruction, I think we’ve seen massive value creation.”

Apple’s co-founder then argued that oftentimes psychology drives market dips, with fear in part determining price. Wozniak clarified that he was not interested in Bitcoin “as an investor” and that he “only had Bitcoin to experiment with,” clarifying that he had used the crypto as a form of payment.

Wozniak also noted that he had sold all of his Bitcoin “when it went up high,” reiterating what he had said last January:

“I don’t want to be one of those people watching the price of Bitcoin, so I sold out.”

The engineer added that he has never invested in any stocks nor used the Apple stock app.

As Cointelegraph reported in October last year, Steve Wozniak has been announced as a co-founder of  blockchain-focused venture capital fund, EQUI Global.

YouTube Video (Skip to 4:09):

University of California Researchers Propose Blockchain System for Clinical Data

Academics from the University of California, San Francisco, have proposed a method of sharing medical data using a blockchain-based system. An article outlining their research published by international research journal Nature on Feb. 22.

The researchers reportedly developed a blockchain-powered system that aims to improve the traceability and immutability of collected clinical data, and make it more trustworthy. In addition, the system aims to advance methods for reporting adverse events during research and improve medical record management.

During the trial, the developers reportedly launched a web-based portal accessible to all participants with a real clinical trial dataset, which facilitated the interaction between patients and clinical investigators. The authors further tested malicious attacks to data integrity with real world medical records.

After a transaction was performed, all associated data was reportedly recorded onto a new block and then joined together and hashed using the SHA256 algorithm. “Data storage of the blockchain will be accomplished by duplicating and distributing the chain to physically separate machines and data warehouses to be managed by the regulator,” the report further explains.

The blockchain

The blockchain. Source: Nature Communications

If a user needs to modify already presented information or correct a mistake, the system allows them to make an update by submitting a new transaction with the corrected data without overwriting old data.

Blockchain technology has already been implemented by various healthcare-related organizations. Earlier this month, the Canadian unit of American tech giant IBM partnered with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to test blockchain in clinical recordkeeping. The parties aim to discover whether the integration of blockchain with clinical recordkeeping provides the proper level of data integrity, transparency, and patient safety, in addition to reducing costs and automating processes.

Also this month, blockchain tech company Bitfury partnered with radiology blockchain marketplace Medical Diagnostic Web and blockchain-powered life data marketplace Longenesis to create a blockchain-based platform for maintaining, sharing and securing medical imaging and diagnostics information such as X-rays and CT scans.


The new crypto product sweeping Twitter

A great point of view from Anthony Pompliano ⚡️

There is a new product sweeping the crypto industry. was created by Sergio Abril to allow Twitter users to quickly “tip” each other in Bitcoin for being helpful, sharing great content, or just generally expressing appreciation. The product is currently available through Google Chrome and Firefox extensions, but Sergio is planning to expand to other platforms in the near future.

The beauty of is how simple it is. A user downloads the extension, sign ins with their Twitter username & password, and can immediately start sending or receiving satoshis (smallest unit of account in Bitcoin). The barriers of the legacy financial system are removed, along with cross-border transaction complexity.

Users aren’t sending hundreds or thousands of dollars to each other however. They are sending a few pennies worth of Bitcoin at a time. Imagine trying to send $0.05 through any traditional means? It would be really difficult and the transaction fees would cost more than the amount being sent.

As we have seen many times in the crypto industry, word spreads quickly once a volunteer (Sergio) builds a cool product or service. has been no different. Once the product was launched, a few initial users tested it out, the “virality of sending money” started to accelerate adoption, and eventually large Twitter accounts like Jack Dorsey & Erik Vorhees signed up and started tweeting about it. 

You can sign up in seconds by clicking here:

I am fully aware that many people will roll their eyes at the idea of being an important, and potentially world-changing, idea. It is fun. Playful. Easy to dismiss as a game. But remember, many great products start out as small experiments that appear to be small ideas at first. has created a way for anyone in the world to quickly send micro-transactions to anyone else in a matter of seconds. The use cases for something like this are nearly impossible to understand in the beginning. Here are a few ideas of how this could be used moving forward

  1. Send tips to content creators or influencers — Entire businesses can be built off a product like this. It allows community leaders to monetize in a more efficient and authentic way, while also sidestepping the high fees and censorship risks presented by legacy products. Think of this like Patreon for Bitcoin.

  2. Streaming payments — The product is fairly elementary at the moment but it wouldn’t be a stretch to see someone incorporate the “pay-as-you-go” model on top of As we have discussed previously, this is one of the ideas I’m most excited about in crypto, but it is largely unexplored to date.

  3. Commerce — One of the most popular arguments of Bitcoin detractors is that transactions are slow and expensive. They love to say “you could never buy a coffee with it!” With, a retailer could set up an account and have consumers send them small dollar amounts in exchange for goods and services. The settlement times are lightning fast (pun intended) and fees are almost non-existent.

  4. P2P transactions — I’m writing today’s newsletter from Mexico City. Last night at dinner with a few investors, the idea that Venmo (and other popular US p2p applications) doesn’t work in Mexico came up. With Tippin, users would be able to send Bitcoin back and forth without the reliance on Venmo and other platforms to support their country.

There are a bunch of other ways that Tippin could evolve or be leveraged by users, but you get the point. The most exciting aspect of the product in my opinion is that it is built on top of the Lightning Network. We are seeing an impressive adoption of the Layer 2 scaling solution and I anticipate more developers will build on top of it in 2019.

The legacy banking system has spent hundreds of billions of dollars to build the infrastructure for a physical world separated by nation state borders. The internet is a single nation with no borders, therefore we need a separate set of infrastructure to facilite this borderless, digital financial system.

The Lightning Network is laying the foundation and applications like are pushing adoption. We are still so early in the development of this new financial system though. 

I can’t wait to see what entrepreneurs come up with next.


Elon Musk Talks About Bitcoin

Elon Musk Talks About Bitcoin

After stopping the jokes, Musk affirmed that the structure of Bitcoin was “quite brilliant” to him and that he admired the token a lot.

Elon Musk affirmed that paper is going away soon and that he believes that Bitcoin has a big chance of replacing it. According to him, one of the biggest advantages of Bitcoin is to be a fluid route to bypass currency controls. This constitutes Bitcoin as a way better way to transfer value than using paper and can be what will lead Bitcoin to finally achieve its final goal.


Google Adds Bitcoin Symbol “₿” To Its Keyboard.

📰 Google Adds Bitcoin Symbol “₿” To Its Keyboard.

It’s the small things that matter. Or perhaps the small things are actually really big things. Such thoughts come to mind after Google quietly added the bitcoin currency symbol (₿) to the Google Gboard keyboard available for Apple’s iOS devices.

As any ad agency will tell you, getting into the head of consumers is difficult but essential, and there is no better way of doing that than getting your brand on to people’s smartphones.

That’s why it matters when Google adopts bitcoin, albeit outwardly only at the level of the smartphone keyboard. Given that we spend a huge part of our lives on our mobile computers (OK call them phones if you want), it’s a big deal when bitcoin appears in such an in-your-face location as the keyboard potentially at the centre of our lives.

Inwardly of course things are different – Google’s crypto adoption doesn’t start and end with keyboards.

It emerged in March last year that Goggle is working on its own blockchain tech, according to a Bloomberg report citing unnamed individuals. The story said Google was looking to bring blockchain to its cloud services so that customers could use the tech to verify their interactions on the platform.

Original Source:

Photo: @therealcoiner

You Can Now Send Bitcoin Tips Over Lightning on Twitter

When “liking” your favorite tweet isn’t enough, you can now send small bitcoin transactions.

Announced Saturday, the beta app Tippin has released a new Chrome Extension available to Google browser users. Over Twitter, app users can send bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network, considered a way to make bitcoin transactions feasible at a large scale for the first time.

With the extension enabled, a little lightning bolt symbol pops up inside every tweet next to the more familiar “like” and “retweet” buttons.

It builds off an old idea that small payments are one of bitcoin’s selling points. (Bitcoin app ChangeTip was once a popular way to send payments over social media, but it died out in 2016.)

Tippin engineer Sergio Abril told CoinDesk:


All a user needs is a Twitter account and to install Tippin to receive tips. As such, Tippin hopes to capitalize on crypto Twitter power users to drive growth.

“Tippin started as a personal side project a couple of months ago, so I could understand lightning network a bit more, and of course help push adoption, but it’s starting to get big,” Abril said.

Abril has ideas for expanding the app into the future, including adding support on other social media platforms. Also, for now, the app is custodial, meaning users don’t have complete control over their funds, because, according to Abril, the app is much easier to use this way.

But he has plans to look into non-custodial options as well.

Abril added:


Original Source:

Bullion Giant APMEX Partners with BitPay to Let Investors Buy Gold with Bitcoin

One step closer. 🔑


Global #crypto payment provider BitPay has announced the OneGold precious metals and digital gold marketplace is now accepting Bitcoin and #BitcoinCash, according to a press release.

OneGold — founded by APMEX, a leading precious metals retailer, and Sprott, an alternative asset manager — is focused on giving investors the ability to combine the “key benefits of physical gold and silver with those of blockchain-based digital assets.” OneGold #CEO Ken Lewis indicated that adding Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to the payment roster boosts “transparency and efficiency.” He projected that the added options would lead to a positive response from “a large number of cryptocurrency buyers from international markets, where accepting credit cards is not always practical.” Fostering Transparency And Payment Security

In the press release, BitPay Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh said that cryptocurrency is “an ideal payment method for e-commerce and precious metals” due to risks of fraud and identity theft related to the use of credit cards. Chargebacks, he noted, cost merchants nearly $19 billion last year.

Cryptocurrency is touted by some as a solution to these types of issues since each transaction is recorded and stored on the blockchain with a lack of sensitive information.

In March 2016, JM Bullion said customers could use Bitcoin to purchase gold and silver through BitPay. The bullion company indicated at the time they would give a four percent discount to those who used the cryptocurrency for payment.

OneGold maintains the ability to take fiat or cryptocurrency, or any combination of the two, as payment. The company is also protected from Bitcoin price swings through BitPay.

All digital precious metals available through OneGold are allocated to physical precious metals held inside of the Royal Canadian Mint.

NASA Publishes Proposal for Air Traffic Management Blockchain Based on HyperLedger

NASA Publishes Proposal for Air Traffic Management Blockchain Based on HyperLedger 📡🛰️

The proposed system would employ an open-source permissioned blockchain to enable secure, private and anonymous communication with air traffic services. According to the document, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance System (ADS-B) — which will be mandatory by 2020 — is subject to third-party spoofing as it publicly broadcasts aircraft positions. Spoofing, the researchers explain, is when false aircraft position are reported. The researchers note that implementing cryptography has been proposed in order to address both the privacy issues and spoofing.🔥🔝 ✔️