What crypto moving into the mainstream could mean for CRE
The digital currency known as cryptocurrency, or simply crypto, took another big step into the mainstream when coffee retailer Starbucks announced its partnership with Bakkt, a global platform that allows investors, merchants and consumers to connect and access, trade and use digital assets faster and easier.
The partnership will bring crypto into the Starbucks app so its customers will be able to convert their crypto into dollars at the register and make purchases.
“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,” Maria Smith, Vice President, Partnerships and Payments for Starbucks said in a statement. “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.”
With Starbucks getting to the crypto fray, it raises the question if crypto is going to become so mainstream that it can be used to buy morning coffee, what does it mean for the future of payments and cryptocurrency overall? Could we get to a point where commercial real estate properties and rent are paid for with crypto?
“We believe that crypto currency is an upcoming foundation for transactions of all types,” Jason Davis, CEO of Hoard, a platform that allows for seamless integration and management of both crypto and fiat currencies, told Connected Real Estate Magazine. “Like any emerging technology, ongoing adoption is crucial and is dependent on consumer and business interest to establish a marketplace of uses.
“Once the demand occurs, merchants will start to embrace it over traditional methods like credit cards that result in extensive fees. We believe that retail and food service will be the biggest industries to move into the crypto market, and right now, if you look across the global landscape, many merchants are starting to offer payment by cryptocurrency. This trend will just continue to grow in the coming months.”
According to Davis, Hoard and other companies across the industry are already building solutions to minimize the “middle man” and it’s only a matter of time before mainstream credit cards are a thing of the past.
“In my opinion, the future of commerce is based on lower fees, faster settlements and stronger security directly between two parties,” Davis said. “Physical cards, card numbers and EVM chips will disappear. Crypto-based payment startups are popping up every day, and a few are going to get it right. The companies that do will transform how people spend in person and online.”
Using crypto to pay for retail items and coffee is one thing; it’s another to use it for big-ticket items like commercial real estate. However, Davis believes that crypto and commercial real estate are a good match, and using crypto in real estate transactions could be more beneficial than making payments the traditional way.
“Cryptocurrencies offer an advantage of settlement speed that traditional banks can’t reproduce,” he said. “They’re also a great source for micro-payments and reoccurring payments, especially with companies like Hoard auto-converting cryptocurrency into fiat currency in mere seconds. Lastly, crypto-assets provide an excellent solution for dividing and distributing ownership of commercial real estate properties.”