A recent statement from Starbucks had people jumping to cryptocurrency-related conclusions
We heard some pretty big news over the weekend, with reports emerging that Starbucks was ready to accept bitcoin.
It felt like a pretty huge deal for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, especially those like 50 Cent who have amassed a small fortune and may well be looking for more ways to spend some of it on a day-to-day basis.
It’s possible to convert Bitcoin to traditional currency, but more and more online outlets have begun to accept it directly.
A company the size of Starbucks doing the same would have been a huge deal… if only it were actually true.
Starbucks is involved in the establishment of a “Global digital platform and ecosystem for digital assets,” known as Bakkt, but this is no guarantee you’ll be able to use your crypto to caffeinate yourself on the way to work - despite headlines implying it would be possible.
“Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Motherboard, and that goes for other Starbucks drinks too (I mean, it would be weird if they decided you could only use Bitcoin to buy espressos or lattes but nothing below a certain temperature).
“It is important to clarify that we are not accepting digital assets at Starbucks,” the spokesperson explained.
“Rather, the exchange will convert digital assets like Bitcoin into US dollars, which can be used at Starbucks.”
Bitcoin has fluctuated pretty significantly in value over the last 12 months, rising from approximately US$2,000 (£1,545) per Bitcoin in May 2017 to a high of $17,900 (£13,828) later that year, before dropping back below $10,000 (£7,726) in 2018.
The cryptocurrency’s value is predicted to rise significantly again before the end of the year, according to those familiar with the subject. However, that still depends on a number of variables.
People will continue to speculate on the value rising and falling, though, and it’s not going away any time soon; you just won’t be able to use it to pay for your morning coffee just yet.