Crypto For Espresso
The ultimate prize for any cryptocurrency is adoption for ubiquitous micropayments. And there is nothing more ubiquitous or micro than our daily dose of America’s favorite wakeup drug - coffee.
Starbucks, the company that made it cool to pay $5 for a cup of coffee, may soon be the company that makes it cool to exchange crypto for your espresso.
Proxy For A Mobile Digital Payment System
Executive Chairman Howard Schultz told Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business that simply by listening and responding to customer preferences, Starbucks had already pioneered a “proxy for a mobile digital payment system”.
Schultz was referring to Starbucks’ mobile app which, with a blend of convenience and customer loyalty rewards, has become a preferred way for customers to order and pay all over the world. More than 50% of the company’s tender is paid with smartphones.
87,000 Different Coffee Drinks
This fact is not surprising, considering the dizzying array of options on offer at Starbucks (6 different kinds of milk!). If you had a different Starbucks drink every day, it would take you 238 years to cover the entire menu.
Springboard For Cryptocurrency
The mobile app makes precise ordering a breeze and eliminates the wait, so even if it wasn’t originally adopted as a payment alternative - it's the perfect springboard for a cryptocurrency.
More than 70% of Starbucks transactions in China are cashless, as are roughly a third in the U.S. As those numbers grow, Schultz foresees a cashless future for Starbucks, which is already pioneering a cashless store in Seattle.
Schultz’s crypto of choice will probably not be bitcoin, but rather “a proprietary digital currency integrated into our application.” In an earnings call last month, he said "I don't believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future.”
Who knows? If bitcoin’s recent software upgrade to include full SegWit support and the second-layer lightning network result in more widespread adoption for micro-payments, Starbucks customers will be making that call by voting with their digital wallets.
Certainly the company’s mobile app is on the cutting edge of a cashless future, and it has a lot to offer any cryptocurrency that covets widespread adoption for micro transactions (and who doesn’t?).
Chasing The Prize
For Schultz, the key component is trust:
"We think we have something to offer the companies that are chasing this, because we are in a position to create the trusted legitimate place in which this could be accepted and possibly take advantage of the mobile payment digital platform that we have created."
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