Serving Up Coffee Using the Blockchain? Starbucks Head Speaks On the Crypto Space
For Starbucks Chair, Blockchain and digital currencies are all about legitimacy and trust.
When Starbucks reported its quarterly earnings recently, instead of questions about its top and bottom lines dominating the conference call, it was questions about how implementing Blockchain that stole the show.
Starbucks has a history of taking advantage of cutting-edge technology, so the rise of Blockchain is naturally appealing to its execs.
On the call was the coffee shop’s founder and Chairman Howard Schultz. He spoke highly of the Blockchain, but was a bit more reserved in discussing digital currencies, including Bitcoin.
Any plans for Blockchain
Schultz boasted that his company’s officials think Starbucks has something to offer the companies that are “chasing” the crypto space. He said:
“Starbucks is in a position to create the trusted, legitimate place in which [Blockchain] could be accepted and possibly take advantage of the mobile payment digital platform that we have created.”
He added that he thought that in a few years from now, the technology would be even more accepted because of the trust and legitimacy Blockchain would provide in regards to a digital currency. He noted that Starbucks will be an early partner of digital currencies as they become more adopted by the consumer.
“Now, I'm not bringing this up because Starbucks is announcing that we are forming a digital currency or we're investing in this. I'm bringing this up because as we think about the future of our company and the future of consumer behavior, I personally believe that there is going to be one or a few legitimate, trusted digital currencies [based] off of the Blockchain technology.”
Schultz said he sees Starbucks as being in “a very unique position to take advantage of Blockchain, and what it will provide in terms of the rails to potentially be in the mix of this and benefitting financially, and benefitting in terms of consumer behavior.”
“I believe that we are heading into a new age in which Blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of a digital currency that is going to have a consumer application.”
What about cryptos?
Shultz said he believes that in order for cryptocurrencies to take hold as legitimate and trustworthy for consumers to use, there is at least one thing that must happen. That is them being legitimatized by a “brand and a brick and mortar environment, where the consumer has trust and confidence in the company that is providing the transaction.”
As noted above, Shultz isn’t ready to say that Bitcoin will take off with consumers who want to use the tokens right now.
“I don't believe that Bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future. I'm talking about the new technology of Blockchain and the possibility of what could happen…”
And then you have to ask yourself, Schultz said,
“How many companies or what company has the national or global footprint, as well as the digital mobile payment trust and confidence integrated into its existing business. And if you take it a step further, and you believe this is coming, given the fact that there are hundreds of millions of dollars domestically and globally being invested in this [Blockchain] technology, in which there is an arms race, who is going to win?”
I’m betting he thinks it will be Starbucks.