BTC and Starbucks coffee pairing?

 

The Bit

Pay your coffee with BTC. CNBC and Bloomberg played the telephone game with this news and pretty heavily exaggerated the BTC payment potential. 

The Bigger Picture

Starbucks will be the leading retailer for payment processing on the new platform Bakkt, a creation of the NYSE parent company. Transactions will instantly exchange BTC to fiat, paying the fiat directly to Starbucks. Bakkt is built on Microsoft’s cloud networking, and backed by their venture capital arm. However, there was a lot of miscommunication through the grapevine. Yahoo quickly brought a misleading take on the news, where an interviewee made a vague statement that Bitcoin wallets are “iffy at best,” and are preventing adoption.Though if that was the case, Starbucks would still only be processing fiat.   

One small step for crypto

 

The Bit

...one giant leap for Argo Blockchain. Their IPO doubled their funding, and became the first cryptocurrency-related business on the London Stock Exchange. 

The Bigger Picture

Argo Blockchain is developing an international data center management business that basically creates ‘mining as a service,’ and their current platform streamlines the mining process for individuals who want to mine, but don’t have the hardware to do so. Users can choose to mine Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), or Zcash (ZEC). The company’s $61 million valuation isn’t much compared to many other IPOs and ICOs, but the visibility they bring with an LSE listing is another story.    

Bank of Thailand sending mixed signals

 

The Bit

Just a few months ago, the Bank of Thailand prohibited all cryptocurrency activity from financial institutions, but now they’re allowing a workaround. 

The Bigger Picture

Banks in Thailand create subsidiaries to handle all customer needs related to digital assets and digital tokens. However, all that these subsidiaries can really do is provide investment resources on cryptocurrencies. Actual financial services are prohibited...even though last month the governor shared that they were working on blockchain and an in-house cryptocurrency. In short, they’re trying to get people on the crypto train, but just in time for when their own coin is ready.   “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.” - Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange.