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Howard Schultz teases a Starbucks cryptocurrency

We get it, Starbucks is a payments innovator

Starbucks

Starbucks, where looking longingly out of a window is perfectly normal behavior (via Pixabay)

One thing’s for sure: Starbucks knows how to get paid. It makes sense that company leadership is keeping close eyeballs on the latest, greatest ways for consumers to pay for things. Presently, this means some kind of smartphone integration, whether it’s ApplePay or Starbucks’ own mobile payment application. But the future is much more interesting than the present.

In an appearance on Fox Business, Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz expounded the company’s street cred as a payments innovator, then gave a strong tease that Starbucks might—just might—implement its own proprietary cryptocurrency in the future. Schutz suggested that the company would integrate this new currency into the Starbucks payments app that its customers already use habitually.

“I think blockchain technology is probably the rails in which an integrated app at Starbucks will be sitting on top of,” he said.

Schultz’s comments come just one month after the business leader stirred the crypto pot, opining on cryptocurrencies in general during a Starbucks earnings call. He used his soapbox to decry bitcoin while cheerleading for crypto at large, and said only “one or a few” legitimate cryptocurrencies would eventually emerge.

Schultz remarked then that Starbucks wasn’t “forming a digital currency or [investing in cryptocurrency],” but the tone of his comments today suggests that the opposite lay just around the corner.

A Starbucks cryptocurrency would have an instant userbase of tens of millions of people. It would also have instant utility, with thousands of locations around the world accepting it as payment for goods. As the Starbucks brand is so well-known, it isn’t hard to imagine tickers showing the exchange rate between “StarbucksCoin” and the U.S. dollar—or the Chinese yuan or the South Korean won

Nonetheless, one wonders if such a StarbucksCoin would be allowed to trade against bitcoin.

Dylan Love is an editorial consultant, contributing reporter, and fiendishly curious technology enthusiast. He owns no cryptocurrencies.