Microsoft, Starbucks and leading retailers join integrated digital asset network Bakkt

By Dale Benton

A digital ecosystem designed to enable consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network has been launched, with Starbucks and Microsoft getting involved.

Intercontinental Exchange, a leading operate of global exchanges, clearing houses, data and listings services, has announced this week that it will form a new company called Bakkt.

Bakkt will leverage Microsoft cloud solutions to create an open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets.

Microsoft, along with Starbucks and BCG are but a few marquee organisations and that have taken part to create the integrated network.

The ecosystem will include federally regulated markets and warehousing, as well as merchant and consumer applications. In its first iteration, it will enable the trading and conversation of Bitcoin, with the ecosystem “designed to address evolving needs in the estimated $270 billion digital asset marketplace.”

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“In bringing regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets, we aim to build confidence in the asset class on a global scale, consistent with our track record of bringing transparency and trust to previously unregulated markets,” said Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange.

Starbucks represents the flagship retailer, as it will take on a much more central role in the further development of the technology.

“As the flagship retailer, Starbucks will play a pivotal role in developing practical, trusted and regulated applications for consumers to convert their digital assets into US dollars for use at Starbucks,” said Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks. “As a leader in Mobile Pay to our more than 15 million Starbucks Rewards members, Starbucks is committed to innovation for expanding payment options for our customers.” 

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