Starbucks Partners with NYSE Owner To Build ‘Global’ Digital Asset Platform

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New York Stock Exchange operator Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has revealed it plans to launch a global digital asset platform in November as a “scalable on-ramp” for investors.

ICE To Build ‘Scalable On-Ramp’

In a press release August 3, ICE, which signaled its intention to launch physical Bitcoin futures in May, will debut them alongside the new platform, dubbed Bakkt.

“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,” Kelly Loeffler, CEO of Bakkt explained.

We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.

The collaboration is conspicuous for its list of participants. Starbucks, Microsoft and BCG are among the names working with ICE to create Bakkt.

For its part, Starbucks signaled its desire to allow customers to pay for its goods in digital currency.

“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,” Maria Smith, vice president of partnerships and payments said, adding the company is “committed to innovation for expanding payment options.


The news immediately caused a stir, one cryptocurrency industry commentator describing ICE’s decision as “massive” and Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert echoing the enthusiasm.

Among Bakkt’s investors meanwhile are some familiar Blockchain venture capital names, including Pantera Capital and Susquehanna, the latter of which continues to voice its faith in the future of Bitcoin this week.

Other participants are set to include M12, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, Fortress Investment Group and several others.

“Blockchain technology holds tremendous potential to enable new business models and trusted ecosystems,” BCG senior partner Shaun Collins added.

By leveraging and developing fundamental market infrastructure, the Bakkt platform will enable firms across industries to accelerate a range of innovation.

Will Starbucks go digital bucks? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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