LatteCoin? Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz denies planning a cryptocurrency launch but says there's "potential" in blockchain

 
Alys Key
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Blockchain could play more of a role in consumer industries in the future (Source: Getty)

There is already a whoppercoin for Russian Burger King, a KodakCoin for image rights, and even a cryptocurrency based on Theresa May.

But could caffeine fiends soon be using blockchain to pay for their Venti non-fat latte with caramel drizzle at Starbucks?

Not just yet, according to the company's president and former CEO Howard Schultz. But blockchain is certainly of interest to the company in future.

Read more: Here's why Starbucks employees are getting a $250m windfall

On a call with investors this week, he said there could be a "consumer application" for the technology, but emphasised that there was a need for "trust and legitimacy".

"I'm not bringing this up because Starbucks is announcing that we are forming a digital currency or we're investing in this," he said. "I'm bringing this up ... as we think about the future of our company and the future of consumer behavior."

Chief executive Kevin Johnson agreed in a conversation with CNBC that while the coffee giant has no specific plans, it would be keeping an eye on payment methods of the future. Schultz has previously said he anticipates the chain to one day go cashless.

But Schultz took aim at bitcoin, saying it was not one of the "one or a few legitimate" digital currencies which he expects to come out of the crypto craze.

His sentiments echoed those of several of the world's economic and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. George Soros and Theresa May were among those to criticise bitcoin.

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