Starbucks, BCG, Microsoft and ICE Announce Bakkt, a Bitcoin On-Ramp

via coinjournal

The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the NYSE, has announced the formation of Bakkt. It is described as “A Global Regulated Ecosystem for Digital Assets”. It will include partnerships with Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Starbucks.

The point of the project is to enable customers to “buy, sell and store digital assets”. It will include federally regulated markets and warehousing (i.e. storing) for Bitcoin and potentially other cryptocurrencies.

Much of it seems like direct competition for Coinbase, the popular exchange funded by Andreessen Horowitz, among others.

“Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security and utility,” said Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler in a press release “We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”

The Microsoft partnership comes from the service’s use of the Microsoft cloud platform. Microsoft has been a supporter of bitcoin for years, accepting the digital currency for purchases years ago. They disabled Bitcoin payments when fees became too high but they have overall been bullish on blockchain technology in general.

BCG’s specific role has yet to be defined. But with over 90 offices in 50 countries, and financial know-how, they likely have some use for a global cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

“Blockchain technology holds tremendous potential to enable new business models and trusted ecosystems,” said Sean Collins, Senior Partner, BCG in the same press release. “By leveraging and developing fundamental market infrastructure, the Bakkt platform will enable firms across industries to accelerate a range of innovation.”

As for Starbucks, their partnership is more on the customer side of things. The plan may be to allow anyone to use Bitcoin at any Starbucks worldwide. Starbucks was a pioneer in mobile payments. Their app allowing mobile ordering set off a revolution that saw nearly every fast food restaurant follow suit. It has not been confirmed that their app will start using a Bakkt-backed bitcoin wallet, but it would be an obvious assumption.

ICE, Microsoft, BCG and Starbucks all moving towards Bitcoin. It is becoming clear that 2018, despite the price, is a good year for Bitcoin’s growth in the mainstream.

“As three more goliaths enter the cryptoasset arena, 2018 seems to be shaping up as the year mainstream business woke up to crypto.” Explained Iqbal Gandham, UK Managing Director at eToro “These kind of landmarks are coming thick and fast. Rather than focusing only on price movements, companies are rightly spotting the potential for real world applications and want to get in on the action.”

Bitcoin has certainly seen increasing interest from mainstream investors. While Goldman Sachs recently declared Bitcoin isn’t coming back, the rest of the financial world seems to be getting on board. And even Goldman Sachs has invested in Circle, itself a blockchain/bitcoin company.

“It’s certainly a far cry from the Bitcoin of 2009.” Said Kevin Murcko, the CEO of cryptoexchange, CoinMetro in an email to CoinJournal. “The cryptocurrency once supported by anarchists and libertarians as something that would unfetter us from the global financial system and from capitalism is clearly being absorbed into that very system. To some, that might feel like an expedient betrayal, but of course, Bitcoin hasn’t panned out as its inventor expected. Its popularity has led to a whole new financial market – one that financial institutions can’t realistically ignore.”

The announcement didn’t seem to have much impact on Bitcoin’s price. It is now sitting close to where it was 24 hours earlier. That being said, if Bakkt can make global use easier, if every Starbucks in the world accepts it, it is difficult to imagine that the price wouldn’t rise.

But, as I preach constantly, the price isn’t what is important here. Bitcoin is more popular than ever with mainstream financial companies. The important thing is adoption. Seeing Bitcoin signs at every Starbucks in the world, alongside the MasterCard and VISA, will definitely increase legitimacy and adoption.

How, exactly, this all plays out will be interesting to watch. Will Starbucks purchases be limited to Bakkt wallets? If so, will that eliminate fees by using off-chain transactions? Will users hold their own private keys? (Unlikely.) Will bitcoin be able to scale with this potential increase in adoption? And how will the Lightning Network factor into it?

Those questions will have to wait. According to ICE, Bakkt should have a usable platform by November. Perhaps we will learn more at that time.

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Biggest news since I got into the market last December and no discussions here. This is bigger than the Wingkeltoes ETF. Yet not much attention here or in the market as evidenced by the price action. Am I missing some detail here?

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Fasten your seat Belts folks and Prepare for
Take Off … :rocket:

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There were some details that I didn’t like in the original fortune article but this is still probably the biggest news of the year so far.

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This news is huge for BTC. Once a big company like Starbucks does this, other major companies will follow suit if they haven’t already.

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Yup…the news is that BIG that the market is tanking as I speak.

Something is not right here

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I think if Microsoft thought BTC prices were way too high = what will the Institutions / Giant Funds and the like, do when there are only 21 Million BTC available ? when the Regs open the Flood Gates, just 1 or 2 of those funds will sweep up whats available… it sure doesn"t make good business sense to me to Pay $10K plus for something old, slow, limited, expensive - when there are alts = new, fast, vastly better, cheap… ??

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Firstly, there wont be 21 million BTC for a very very very very long time. In fact, you and I will both be dead by the time the last BTC is mined.

Secondly, If, as you say, just 1 or 2 of those funds sweep up whats available, those 1 or 2 funds will have have to pay the going rate for each BTC. Supply and demand means the price of a BTC will sky rocket.

The very fact that BTC is limited is what gives it its value. Old? Its only been around for a decade. Slow? LN will improve the speed.

BTC is being viewed as a store of value. Not as a working currency.

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This is big news yes, but not the biggest news of the year…that spot is reserved for YEN.IO!!! #TooStrong

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Was the Starbucks thing “fake news” or misinterpreted news? I just found this article saying Starbucks wants to make it crystal clear they aren’t going to accept bitcoin. Well that sucks if they don’t accept bitcoin and other cryptos as payments. We need more adoption and Starbucks would have led the way to adoption!

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That’s where other cryptos such as Litecoin comes in as transaction currency for small items. Then Ethereum classic could possible lead the way to innovation as well…I think?

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People misunderstood the news. They saw starbucks involved with something related to crypto and assumed that they were going to start accepting crypto, so Starbucks had to make a statement to clarify things.
To be honest though, even if they did, are there really that many people willing to spend their cryptos? Aren’t most people just HODLing hoping it will be worth a lot more in the future (I know I am)?
Using a debit card is quick and easy, so I am not sure I understand the point in paying with crypto as this is slower (currently), there are transaction fees (yes, there are credit card fees for the merchant when a customer pays with a credit card, but that cost is already baked into the cost of whatever you are buying) and then you have to worry about capital gains/losses when buying a cup of coffee?

I am not trying to be overly negative, I am genuinely trying to understand who is looking forward to the day of being able to spend BTC (or ltc or whichever) at the grocery store.
I can see the value of some other cryptos that are not trying to be a new payment method though.

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