Coffee behemoth Starbucks, which boasts more than 30,000 stores around the world, is expected to use cryptocurrency to manage its prepaid cards, The Korea Times reports.
By expending its asset management business, Starbucks is emerging as a fintech giant that could potentially compete with Korean banks.
Billions of dollars from gift cards
Starbucks offers its customers SBUX prepaid cards that allow them to conveniently purchase coffee in advance. This is more than a gimmick -- the company actually has over $1.6 bln on its balance sheet of people who want to buy their coffee with gift cards. These customers effectively act like creditors who trust the company.
This a great way for the Seattle-headquartered chain to loan money without paying any interest. Due to regulatory hurdles and the need to deal with multiple fiat currencies, it makes sense for Starbucks to turn to crypto in order to manage its massive loans.
Starbucks dabbles in crypto
Back in April 2019, Blockchain Capital founder Gavin Brown suggested that huge multinational corporations could launch their coins while using SBUX prepaid cards as an example. The aforementioned report doesn't state whether or not Starbucks will issue its own cryptocurrency or rely on an existing one.
It is worth noting that Starbucks is no stranger to crypto. The behemoth made a sizeable investment in ICE-backed Bitcoin exchange Bakkt. As reported by U.Today, the two companies are also working on a consumer app that would let Starbucks customers make payments with crypto.