Starbucks: Customers will NOT be able to pay Frappuccinos with bitcoin

“It is important to clarify that we are not accepting digital assets in Starbucks,” a spokesman for Starbucks told reporter Jordan Pearson, clearing any doubt of the “news of the year.”

That’s the reality, Starbucks wants Bitcoin, but was interested in working with Bakkt for development solutions that would allow its customers to convert their bitcoins (or other digital assets) into fiat currency, which they could then spend at Starbucks.

At the current time, we are announcing the launch of trading and conversion of Bitcoin. However, we will continue to talk with customers and regulators as the space evolves… Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin.

Since the announcement about Bakkt by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) on 3 August 2018, many reports have suggested that Starbucks is getting ready to accept Bitcoin payments. But are these claims valid? This article takes a closer look at this announcement to discover the truth about Starbucks and crypto payments.

The press release by ICE (the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange), the second-largest owner of financial exchanges (by revenue) in the world, said that ICE “plans to form a new company, Bakkt, which intends to leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets”, and that it is partnering with Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, Starbucks, and others to “create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.”

The press release also contained this quote from Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks:

“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.”

Naturally, this announcement created a great deal of excitement amongst crypto enthusiasts, traders/investors, reporters, and analysts. In fact, as reported by CryptoGlobeBrian Kelly of CNBC’s Fast Money calling this the “biggest news of the year” for Bitcoin.

Very shortly after the announcement, we saw many people claim that one implication of this news was that Starbucks was getting ready to accept Bitcoin as a means of paying for your coffee. Here are a few examples of what was said:

  • Techcrunch: “Starbucks drops major hint at plans to accept Bitcoin”
  • Bloomberg: “Buying Your Starbucks Fix With Bitcoin Is Now Closer to Reality”
  • CNBC: “New Starbucks partnership with Microsoft allows customers to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin”
Jose Felip

Jose Felip

The difficult thing is not to learn, the difficult thing is to know how to teach. Editor and coordinator of the free book "La era de las BLOCK punto COM" CEO of