What’s brewing: Inside the Starbucks-Bakkt partnership

Quick Take

  • Starbucks is not a cash investor in Bakkt. Nonetheless, it has secured a sizeable equity cut
  • The coffee giant is heavily involved in developing the card and app that will allow it to serve as Bakkt’s first merchant-on-platform
  • Only U.S. customers will be able to pay in bitcoin initially

What’s crypto got to do with coffee?

It’s one of the first questions that surfaced last August when Starbucks announced it had partnered with Bakkt – the much-awaited crypto exchange and custodian geared towards institutions. The only explanation they gave at the time was that Starbucks, as the flagship retailer, would “play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications” for Bakkt’s products in-store.