The CEO of Galaxy Digital, a finance company that connects the world of cryptocurrencies with institutional investors, recently stated that Starbuck’s possible integration of digital assets represents a ‘big deal’ for the sector.
‘Follow this space. This is a big deal. Crypto acceptance is coming. Bakkt to launch a consumer app in the first half of 2020; will test product with Starbucks’ said Mike Novogratz.
The mass adoption of cryptocurrencies represents one of the most significant steps towards establishing the sector as truly global and disruptive. In terms of institutional adoption and enterprise-level use, blockchain technology made great progress. However, cryptocurrencies are still mostly used only for speculative trading.
After the great bull run of 2017, which attracted a lot of attention in the world, a number of companies started to make plans for cryptocurrency adoption, including areas such as retail. However, the plans were not finalized as a result of the market’s crash, which showed that the sector’s growth was based on speculation and that the market’s bubble was finally popped.
To bring back trust, cryptocurrencies must not only be adopted and used by institutional entities, but by consumers as well. Starbucks has for the last year made significant progress when it comes to testing blockchain technology and now with the help of Bakkt, a new bitcoin futures trading platform, both companies will introduce cryptocurrencies to U.S. consumers.
In an interview with Mike Blandina, the Chief Product Officer at Bakkt, he stated the need for a retail application that would focus on the consumer segment. By introducing cryptocurrency payments to Starbucks, Bakkt will introduce a platform that might prove to be the catalyst for mass adoption.
‘We’re now focused on the development of the consumer application and merchant portal, as well as testing with our first launch partner, Starbucks, which we expect in the first half of the next year,’ said Mike Blandina. Besides attracting consumers, the move might also prove fruitful in bringing other major retail companies to the cryptocurrency sector, who might now decide to adopt digital assets as well if Bakkt’s platform becomes successful.
Adoption war between Beijing and Washington
Bakkt’s consumer-oriented platform announcement comes at a time where the Chinese central government expressed the need to adopt blockchain technology in order to bring greater functionality and effectiveness to several sectors and industries. President Xi Jinping stated at the end of last week that China will invest in the development and integration of blockchain technology, which resulted in a sudden influx of interest by the Chinese population.
As the second-largest economy in the world, China will bear a significant impact on both blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which may become adopted if introduced into the everyday life of the average Chinese citizen.
The situation in the western part of the world is entirely different on the other hand, as both governments and financial institutions are against corporate cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra which could potentially destabilize the monetary system of the U.S. The issue remains that if the U.S. and Europe keep their stance on cryptocurrencies, they may risk being last in the race for blockchain technology. Stated during his congressional testimony, Mark Zuckerberg commented on this issue by saying that the U.S. may lose its ‘financial leadership’ to China.