What to expect from the New York Stock Exchange, Microsoft, and Starbucks cryptocurrency alliance...

Here in Silicon Valley the response to today's news was a bit funny to watch, and mine seemed to be inline with most in the cryptocurrency world.  That is - for how long I've been preaching that cryptocurrency "mass adoption is coming" every time a big move like this actually happens - i'm still somehow wowed by it. 

Sure, there was always a little voice in the back of my head saying 'maybe it won't happen' but today, that voice has gone mute.

So first let's get an understanding of how this whole thing is structured, learn who the players are, and find out what they're trying to accomplish.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is actually owned by another company, that parent company is called 'Intercontinental Exchange' and can be viewed as the lead organization of the project.

Intercontinental Exchange then brought in both Microsoft, Starbucks and the lesser known Boston Consulting Group - these are the main players in the venture.  Behind them are investment groups Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, and Susquehanna International Group - and we believe there's more partners yet to be named in this deal.

Now let's get an understanding of what they're up to.

Together, they are creating a new company, called "Bakkt" with a fairly simple to understand outline of goals:

- Offer Bitcoin/Crypto mutual funds.
- Offer Bitcoin/Crypto retirement/pension funds.
- Offer Bitcoin/Crypto ETF's and bridge the gap between the crypto and stock markets.
- Bring cryptocurrency assets into the world of 401k's and IRA's.

"Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility” says Kelly Loeffler, who is currently Intercontinental Exchange's head of digital assets, but will soon be known as the CEO of Bakkt.

Now i'm sure you're wondering - what's Starbucks doing here? Will we be soon buying our coffee with crypto? In short, YES!

“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 U.S. dollars for use at Starbucks” Bakkt’s founders tell Fortune Magazine.

Microsoft's role is pretty clear, from the code to the hardware needed to execute their plans - they can handle the workload.

While we're just learning about all this today it's important to note this isn't coming as 'out of the blue' as it seems - today's announcment is the result of 14 months of behind the scenes planning.

Also probably worth mentioning my article from earlier in the week "Wall Street insiders are holding secret meetings on how to take cryptocurrency into the mainstream" which is about another big project separate from this one, involving more big players, with the full details still unknown.

In closing, I believe three words sum up what this all means - here we go!
Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Ross@GlobalCryptoPress.com Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk