Starbucks and Dunkin’ Discussed Bitcoin in Their Analyst Days

Starbucks and Dunkin’ were among the rare non-financial companies to reference the cryptocurrency in their analyst conference calls.

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Factset data for last month says 24 companies referenced cryptocurrency in their analyst conference calls. The list includes the obvious financial enterprises such as Cboe Global markets which launched Bitcoin futures previous month. The file also contains semiconductor companies that manufacture chips used in the crypto mining.

However, it also includes Starbucks and Dunkin’. The two-discussed cryptocurrency and Bitcoin in the previous calls. This shows how much cryptocurrencies draw attention from firms across the economic divide.

For instance, Kate Jaspon the chief financial officer discussed Bitcoin on February 8. She compared the surprising rise of Bitcoin with unexpected rise of Donald Trump to the presidency.

“Whether you support him or not, I don’t think anyone in this room would have guessed that Donald Trump would have been the 45th President of the United States,” she said. “I know I [didn’t]. And then from a digital currency perspective, I mean, bitcoin, years ago we had conversations about whether bitcoin would be a real thing and here it is trading at all-time highs.”

She said the company needs to change given all that change. And they are turning from a five to a three-year outlook now.


Additionally, in a January 25 call, the executive chairman of Starbucks Howard Schultz discussed blockchain. He said it might become a central technology for businesses in the next 20 years to come.

He said he believed there would be a few legitimate, trusted digital currencies on the blockchain. Additionally, he alluded to the fact that the company is thinking about its future and the future of their customer behavior, regarding using cryptocurrency.

“I believe that we are heading into a new age in which blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of a digital currency that is going to have a consumer application. And I believe that Starbucks is in a unique position to take advantage of that,” he said.

That does not mean the company is making a significant investment towards a similar project, he said.

He said such trust regarding a consumer application would need legitimization by a brand. Additionally, he said Starbucks’ strategic positioning could achieve this.

“We are actively demonstrating the level of entrepreneurial curiosity and DNA of our company to do the things that we’ve done in the past, to ensure the fact that we are at the cutting edge of this technology, of this consumer application. And we think we have something to offer the companies that are chasing this, because we are in a position to create the trusted, legitimate place in which this could be accepted, and possibly take advantage of the mobile payment digital platform that we have created.”

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David Kariuki is a journalist who has a wide range of experience reporting about modern technology solutions including cryptocurrencies. A graduate of Kenya's Moi University, he also writes for Hypergrid Business, Cryptomorrow, and Cleanleap, and has previously worked for Resources Quarterly and Construction Review magazines.

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