Bitcoin could be a revolutionary disruption of the global financial industry. Or it could be a fad that spawns great curiosity before fading into the ether of history.

Right now, it’s a hot topic that is very much on the minds of American business owners. MarketWatch reports that in the past month, 24 companies have referenced cryptocurrency in their analyst day conference calls.

While that list is dominated by financial companies, it also includes Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. and Starbucks Corp. “Bitcoin was hardly the focus of either company’s commentary, but the fact that it was discussed at all highlights the degree to which cryptocurrency — which started 2017 below $1,000 and subsequently soared near $20,000 before sharply pulling back — has become a major point of interest across the economy,” writes MarketWatch’s Ryan Vlastelica. “While some executives and high-profile investors have dismissed it as a fraud or bubble, others have announced initiatives into blockchain, the decentralized ledger technology that is the basis for bitcoin and other cryptos.” Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz says it would be a mistake for business owners to blindly dismiss the potential for digital currency to transform the global economy.

“We are heading into a new age in which blockchain technology is going to provide a significant level of digital currency that is going to have a consumer application,” Schultz explains in the article. “I believe that Starbucks is in a unique position to take advantage of that.” One of the most intriguing aspects of bitcoin is that it is fully open source and decentralized.

Anyone has access to the entire source code at any time. All bitcoin transactions are recorded permanently on a distributed ledger called a blockchain, which is publicly viewable. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of