Compass Coffee and Coinbase brewing a new era of payments

March 22, 2024 | by


Compass Coffee, in partnership with Coinbase, is making waves in the retail industry by becoming the first cafe in the Washington D.C. area to accept cryptocurrency. This collaboration marks a significant shift in the retail landscape and emphasizes the growing intersection between traditional business and digital innovation. Customers who pay with USDC, a stablecoin designed to mirror the value of the U.S. dollar, at Compass Coffee’s Half Street location will receive an impressive 90% discount on their purchases, as well as a non-fungible token (NFT) that serves as a collector’s item and a voucher for a complimentary tin of coffee. This unique initiative not only celebrates the partnership but also introduces customers to the tangible benefits of engaging with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The adoption of cryptocurrency payments by Compass Coffee represents a step towards a future where digital currency transactions are commonplace and challenges the traditional financial system’s inefficiencies.

Compass Coffee and Coinbase brewing a new era of payments

The collaboration between Compass Coffee and Coinbase, two prominent players in their respective industries, represents a significant leap towards the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency in everyday transactions. At the center of this collaboration is an exclusive offer that showcases the potential benefits of merging traditional business with digital innovation.

Compass Coffee, a renowned coffee chain with a strong presence in Washington D.C., has partnered with Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, to become the first cafe in the D.C. area to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Specifically, Compass Coffee will accept USDC, a stablecoin designed to mirror the value of the U.S. dollar.


At the heart of the collaboration is an exclusive offer

Compass Coffee’s Half Street location has taken the lead in this new era of payments by offering customers who pay with USDC an impressive 90% discount on their purchases. This discount not only provides significant savings for customers but also serves as an incentive for them to explore the world of cryptocurrency.

To further enhance the customer experience, Compass Coffee is offering a unique digital twist to this exclusive offer. Customers paying with USDC will receive a non-fungible token (NFT) as a form of reward. This NFT serves a dual purpose: it acts as a collectible item and as a voucher for a complimentary tin of coffee. The tin of coffee is specially branded with the logos of Compass Coffee and Coinbase, symbolizing the partnership between the two entities.


Cryptocurrency: From niche to mainstream

The integration of cryptocurrency into the retail sector has been a gradual process, with skepticism often overshadowing the potential benefits. However, major corporations such as Starbucks, Subway, and AMC Theaters have already adopted Bitcoin and Ether as payment options, signaling a shift towards cryptocurrency becoming more mainstream.

Despite the cautious approach of smaller businesses, the landscape is evolving. The launch of Bitcoin ETFs and the changing perspectives of financial leaders, like BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink, indicate a growing recognition of the potential of cryptocurrency.


One of the key drivers of this recognition is the emergence of stablecoins, such as USDC. These coins offer stability and predictability, making them an attractive option for everyday transactions. Compass Coffee’s decision to accept USDC is a significant step towards normalizing the use of cryptocurrency in daily payments.

The case for Stablecoins and Blockchain

One of the main advantages of stablecoins like USDC is their stability and efficiency. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, stablecoins are anchored to stable assets, ensuring a more predictable value. This stability makes them a more reliable means of transaction for both businesses and customers.


The partnership between Compass Coffee and Coinbase is a testament to the shared vision of leveraging blockchain technology to enhance payment systems. Blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies, offers decentralized and secure transactions, reducing the need for intermediaries and associated fees. This not only accelerates transaction times but also significantly lowers costs.

By embracing blockchain technology and stablecoin payments, Compass Coffee is showcasing the economic efficiency of this new approach. It challenges the traditional financial ecosystem’s status quo and highlights the potential savings on transaction fees, which amounted to an estimated $126 billion in 2022 for U.S. merchants.

Compass Coffee Eyes Crypto to Cut Costs and Boost Margins

Compass Coffee recognizes the potential of cryptocurrency payments to cut costs and boost margins. Currently, the company incurs significant losses due to credit card transaction fees, which amount to approximately 3.75% of its revenue. These fees, often referred to as “junk fees,” are imposed by credit card companies on each transaction.

For Compass Coffee, adopting cryptocurrency payments, particularly USDC, could revolutionize the retail experience. By circumventing traditional payment methods and embracing crypto, Compass Coffee aims to reclaim margins that are currently lost to credit card companies. The resources saved from these transaction fees can then be redirected towards essential expenses such as staff wages, rent, and supplier payments.

Michael Haft, the Founder and CEO of Compass Coffee, firmly believes in the potential of cryptocurrency payments and their ability to transform the retail industry. By embracing this new payment method, Compass Coffee not only benefits from cost savings but also contributes to the local economy by redirecting these resources towards supporting local businesses and communities.


The collaboration between Compass Coffee and Coinbase goes beyond just offering a novel payment option. It serves as a statement on the future of financial transactions, demonstrating the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to revolutionize the retail industry.

By integrating USDC payments, Compass Coffee not only provides a practical application for stablecoins but also challenges the inefficiencies of the traditional financial system. This partnership sets a precedent for other small businesses to consider adopting cryptocurrency as a payment method, showcasing the benefits and feasibility of this innovative approach.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, it is clear that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of payments. Compass Coffee and Coinbase are at the forefront of this revolution, stirring the pot and paving the way for a new era of payments.



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