First Eastman Kodak… and now Starbucks.
Indeed, Starbucks Chairman Howard Shultz recently took to the airwaves to let everyone know that his coffee company is getting into the blockchain business.
"I think blockchain technology is probably the rails in which an integrated app at Starbucks will be sitting on top of," he said during an interview on FOX Business Network.
Blockchain is the digital and decentralized ledger behind Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies. Crypto traders depend on blockchain's transparency and unchanging nature to record all their transactions. Now industries beyond digital coins and even fintech are exploring how to use the technology. Blockchain is potentially the perfect technology for everything from running global supply chains to keeping track of medical records.
But Schulz didn't mention any of that.
Instead, he talked about the possibility of expanding digital customer relationships using blockchain, or even the possibility of launching a proprietary crypto coin. "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," he said during an earnings call.
Hold on, buddy. That sounds an awful lot like gimmickry to me – tweaking some technology and then using the "blockchain" name to rebrand an already existing customer rewards program.
That's not going to "move the needle" on a big company like Starbucks – and it doesn't make the Seattle company a blockchain investment.
However, there's another company out there that didn't just talk about the blockchain in the past week or so, but made some noticeable moves with it.
It's making blockchain technology a key part of its business – and it's doing so in a huge and growing market.