Starbucks founder: Blockchain could be the next 'Amazon effect'

Cryptocurrencies became a topic during Starbucks’ (NASDAQ:SBUX) earnings call, and founder and Executive Chairman Howard Schultz gave his take on the future of bitcoin and blockchain.

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“I don't believe that bitcoin is going to be a currency today or in the future,” Schultz stated. He took a more optimistic stance on blockchain, noting that while he is not optimistic about the future of bitcoin, he “believes that there will be one or a few legitimate trusted digital currencies off of the blockchain technology.”

Explaining his comments about bitcoin and blockchain, the executive said, “I'm bringing this up, because three or four years ago I shared with you that I thought that we were heading into a seismic change of consumer behavior as a result of the internet and e-commerce and the Amazon effect of things. And not that I was clairvoyant, and I wish I wasn't. But clearly, that has happened.”

Commenting on how this technology could change the way business is conducted, Schultz said: “There's going to be lot of winners, a lot of losers. But we are in a very unique position to take advantage of what other tech companies and the blockchain technology will provide.”

While legitimacy is one of the major concerns about bitcoin, for blockchain and cryptocurrencies to become legitimate and trusted for consumer applications, they will have to be legitimatized by a brand and a brick-and-mortar environment, according to Schultz.

Schultz does not see this happening overnight, but in a few years a big change could be in store.