Starbucks NFTs: What You Need to Know

Starbucks, the coffee giant, is planning to enter the web3 space with the launch of its own NFT collection later this year.

“If you look at the companies, the brands, the celebrities, the influencers that are trying to create a digital NFT platform and business, I can’t find one of them that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has, from collectibles to the entire heritage of the company,” Howard Schultz, the Starbucks CEO said during a forum in early April.

And, almost a month later, Starbucks has confirmed that it will launch a new Web3-based digital community enabling its customers to buy “digital collectible assets” and unlock “immersive coffee experiences.” First teased in May, Odyssey offers collectible digital stamps as an extension of its rewards program. Starbucks Rewards members and employees can earn non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by participating in various activities.

The games and challenges of Starbucks are aimed at deepening players’ “knowledge of coffee and Starbucks”. You must complete these games to be rewarded with digital collectible “journey stamps,” each with a point value based on its rarity.

The Starbucks Rewards members who have increased points will be able to unlock bonuses like a virtual espresso martini-making class, merchandise and artist collaborations, an invite to exclusive events, or even a trip to Starbucks’ Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.

Limited-edition tokens, meanwhile, are available to purchase through a built-in marketplace within the Odyssey website; a portion of proceeds from special stamps will be donated to as-yet unnamed “causes that matter to Starbucks partners and Starbucks Rewards members.”

People don’t need a crypto wallet or cryptocurrency to access this new technology and claim an ownership stake in their loyalty to Starbucks. Besides, all stamps will feature iconic Starbucks artwork co-created with Starbucks partners and outside artists – giving members and partners access to these treasured assets for the first time.

“Starbucks has always served as the Third Place, a place between home and work where you feel the warmth of connection over coffee, community, and belonging,” EVP and CMO Brady Brewer said in a statement. “The Starbucks Odyssey experience will extend the Third Place connection to the digital world.”

Starbucks will utilize a “proof-of-stake” blockchain technology built by Polygon, which uses less energy than first-generation “proof-of-work” blockchains.

Schultz also says that the company’s next leader should be someone who understands NFTs, the blockchain, and other innovations. “I think the next CEO is going to be a creative person who’s going to understand that the equity of the Starbucks brand has real legitimacy and relevance outside of our stores. And the world we’re living in today, our customer base is getting younger, they’re digital natives, and they expect Starbucks to be as relevant outside of our stores as we are inside,” Schultz said.

As Starbucks Odyssey evolves, the company will continue to gather feedback from members and Starbucks partners, which will help shape the future of this innovative, new experience for Starbucks Rewards.

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