Bakkt, the new platform launched by NYSE’s parent company, has announced they are moving into payment with their first “launch partner,” Starbucks. They say:
“Over the last year, we’ve assembled a strong team of payments engineers and are nearing completion of our core payments and compliance platform.
We’re now focused on the development of the consumer app and merchant portal, as well as testing with our first launch partner, Starbucks, which we expect in the first half of next year.”
Mike Blandina, Chief Product Officer Bakkt, describes a wholistic payments system where ordinary individuals have an account for buying, selling and trading bitcoin, and an app through which they can make payments.
Meaning this doesn’t necessarily touch the blockchain, so scalability is not a problem. The idea here instead being that Bakkt is the payment platform itself where individuals can deposit or buy bitcoin and then send it to merchants who too would have an account with Bakkt.
“We’ll be launching a consumer app to make it easy for consumers to discover and unlock the value of digital assets, as well as ways in which they can transact or track them. Merchants gain access to a broader set of customers with expanded spending power,” they say.
The chair of Starbucks last year hinted such bitcoin payments may come, with this now appearing to be a confirmation that the biggest coffee chain in the world is working on accepting bitcoin payments.
Whether it will eventually extend to other cryptos is not clear, but interestingly they refer to digital assets rather than just bitcoin, so eth or other cryptos might well be next.