Microsoft has teamed up with Starbucks, America’s largest coffeehouse chain, to work on a new blockchain program. A Starbucks spokesperson said that the company is looking at a “variety of technologies, including blockchain.” The venture was initiated to connect coffee consumers with coffee farmers who can then take advantage of financial opportunities. It has been called as the “bean to cup” initiative. They have been using machine learning to gather customer preferences and connecting coffeemakers in stores to the internet to blockchain services for tracing coffee.
Microsoft’s cloud storage platform, Azure, has enabled its developers to connect and integrate a wide range of tools and services at one place. Starbucks has been using Azure and Ethereum blockchain to track its coffee farmers. Starbucks later revealed that it was one of Bakkt’s key partners. In order to clear any misconceptions with regard to the company’s association with Bakkt, the company’s spokesperson specifically stressed that, “Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with bitcoin.” According to The Block’s report, Starbucks will install Bakkt’s payment software in its branches, which allows customers to pay with digital assets. The payments will be converted to fiat, to simplify accounting.
Starbucks has worked with over 380,000 coffee bean farms last year and with the help of Azure, allows its customers to track the production of their coffee and allegedly provide coffee farmers in Colombia, Rwanda and Costa Rica with financial independence. “The promise of connecting coffee farmers to coffee drinkers is an extraordinary leap in transparency and accountability, and it speaks volumes about Starbucks commitment to creating a product that is good for people and for the planet,” Dr. M. Sanjayan, chief executive officer of Conservation International, said in a statement.