Some users of the Starbucks mobile app are now being presented with “Bakkt Cash” as a payment option.
The move seemingly coincides with the bitcoin derivatives provider’s long-awaited focus on consumer-facing services and the announcement earlier today of a whopping $300 million funding round. Bakkt's parent firm, Intercontinental Exchange, first revealed Starbucks was looking at retail applications for crypto payments in August 2018.
However, Starbucks says the Bakkt Cash option is only in limited beta for now.
“We are currently conducting a limited test for our customers, using the Bakkt payment method,” a Starbucks spokesperson told CoinDesk. “Customers can see Bakkt as an option but the test is only available at this time.”
In a statement, Starbucks confirmed it remains a "strategic launch partner" for Bakkt's dollar-denominated digital wallet.
"We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks," the coffee chain said.
Bakkt President Adam White announced the integration on Twitter:
The company’s Monday blog post describes plans to put loyalty points and bitcoin in the same conversation. Bakkt has discussed offering loyalty point programs and crypto payments through a single app since at least February, when it first moved to acquire loyalty solutions provider Bridge2.
Later, Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina said the firm plans to launch the wallet "later this summer."
"The ability to trade different digital assets is part of that but it will be a merchant-by-merchant launch," he told CoinDesk. "You may be able to trade certain loyalty points but not others."
“At Bakkt, we take a broad view of digital assets,” the company wrote. “Whether it’s miles from your favorite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet.”
In response to the growing threat of coronavirus in the U.S., Starbucks is temporarily moving to a takeout-only model, CNBC reported Sunday.
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