Though Bitcoin has lost a significant amount of value in the past months starting this year, it is clear that there is still that optimism coming from crypto believers. Recently, Starbucks partnered with Microsoft along with an exchange in order to start a new company called Bakkt. The goal of this new company is to allow the use of different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin when it comes to buying Starbucks products.
What makes this adoption different? According to Brian Kelly, the founder of BK Capital Management, “They’ll now have a US-regulated exchange and they have a licensed warehouse, which is how commodities are stored and that’s going to make it a lot easier for an ETF to come through”.
Starbucks could pave the way towards Bitcoin becoming accepted by other major companies. At this point, it’s a much-needed boost considering Bitcoin has struggled to keep its price up. There was even a time when Bitcoin was only trading below $6,000.
Increases the Chances of Bitcoin ETFs and Crypto on 401K?
Could this recent development convince the US SEC to approve a Bitcoin-related ETF? The race is currently on for different players looking to have a crypto-related ETF. Recently, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were denied once again by the US Securities and Exchange commission citing fear of price manipulation.
According to Kely, “They’re talking about getting this into your 401(K). They’re talking about in your…. Fidelity or TD Ameritrade account, you’re going to be able to buy a bitcoin ETF, a bitcoin mutual fund. It expands the universe”.
Unfortunately, the news has failed to affect the price, at least for now. He said that “My conclusion is the crypto market is completely missing this” He even added that “Perhaps, the market in general is missing this. This is very, very big news”.
Move Towards Adoption
If you will be asking Vitalik Buterin, he believes that excitement over a possible Bitcoin ETF is misplaced. According to him, what the industry actually needs now is adoption. Coinbase, for instance, has come up with a plugin that can be added to websites that allow crypto-related payment.
In addition to this, you also have Litecoin a few months ago raising awareness and trying to partner with small businesses with their PaywithLitecoin campaign. Though it had some success, cryptocurrencies are still far from being considered a common method of payment.
A report entitled Cryptocurrencies: Overcoming Barriers to Trust and Adoption by Imperial College researchers stated that there is a chance that cryptocurrencies will become a mainstream payment option in the next decade. William Knottenbelt, who is one of its researchers mentioned that “The world of cryptocurrency is evolving as rapidly as the considerable collection of confusing terminology that accompanies it”. However, it is important that cryptos fulfill one of the three fundamental criteria of fiat money: to act as a store of value.
In addition to this, the research also pointed out that issues of scalability and regulation that should be addressed in order to make cryptocurrencies a mainstream payment option.
Zeynep Gurguc who is another researcher involved in the report mentioned that “New payment systems do not emerge overnight, but it is worth noting that the concept of money has evolved – even in our lifetime – from cash to digital or contactless payments”.