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Starbucks Odyssey Announces Launch of NFT Platform with Web3 Loyalty Rewards System

Starbucks Odyssey NFT Platform
Starbucks Odyssey NFT Platform

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Coffee chain Starbucks has officially stepped into the world of web3 technology with what it is calling ‘Odyssey’ – a brand-new initiative integrating the successful Starbucks Rewards loyalty program onto an NFT platform. Program users and Starbucks partners working in the US can use the platform to earn and purchase digital collectible stamps in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Scheduled to become live around the end of 2022, the Starbucks Odyssey platform is to use Polygon’s blockchain technology. It aims at making the chain and its digital presence more accessible to non-technical customers. The initiative was being planned for at least six months, according to Brady Brewer, CMO at Starbucks, in line with the company’s penchant for technological innovation especially related to the cryptosphere.

Boosting Customer Engagement through “Immersive Experiences”

The traditional form of the Starbucks loyalty program allows customers to top up their accounts with money and pay for their drinks in exchange for free drinks and Wi-Fi. This program debuted in 2008 and was updated in 2010 with the release of the company’s mobile app.

Now, the planned program revamp with NFT and web3 technology integration will open the gates to immersive coffee experiences, such as one-of-a-kind items and artist collaborations, as well as invitations to special events. Members can log in and participate in ‘journeys’ on the platform, which comprise a series of activities such as interactive games, quizzes, and challenges. Every member who completes a journey will be rewarded with a digital collectible ‘journey stamp’ (NFT).

“Each digital collectable stamp will include a point value based on its rarity, and the stamps can be bought or sold among members within the marketplace, with ownership secured on a blockchain,” the announcement from Starbucks notes. Customers can currently join the waitlist to gain access to Starbucks Odyssey once it is launched.

The company’s shift to digital assets and web3 technology was anticipated since it had already been actively integrating emerging technologies and making them easily available to users to boost the “coffee experience”.

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Over the last few years, Starbucks has introduced Wi-Fi in its stores to allow customers to enjoy, work, and spend more time at their cafes. Starbucks has also started accepting mobile wallets and increased support for mobile orders since even before the pandemic.

Starbucks’ Future-Ready Platform to Use Polygon Blockchain

Starbucks Odyssey will be built using Polygon’s proof-of-stake network, which is a scaling technology built on top of the Ethereum network. Polygon and other scaler-based applications allow circumventing of some of the high pricing and sluggish transaction speeds imposed by Ethereum’s primary network congestion.

At the same time, the Polygon blockchain consumes less emergency compared to first-generation “proof-of-work” paradigm blockchains Bitcoin and Ethereum. MATIC, Polygon’s native token, reacted warmly to Starbucks’ statement, trading at $0.852 at the time of writing with a 24-hour trading volume of $744 million. The token has seen a steady performance ever since the announcement.

Although the number and price of NFTs available at the Starbucks Odyssey launch have not yet been disclosed, the NFT stamps will have a point value depending on rarity. They will be sold in the Starbucks Odyssey marketplace, with their ownership safeguarded on the blockchain.

A limited edition set of NFTs housed on the Polygon blockchain will also be added later and made available for purchase on the Starbucks Odyssey app. The consumer will be able to pay with a credit or debit card, without needing a crypto wallet, since the company believes that enabling ease of access will encourage people to participate with the web3 experience.

Meanwhile, Starbucks has yet not revealed the pricing of the NFTs or how many would be available at launch, claiming that the decisions have yet to be made. While the web3 platform is opening a waitlist in September prior to the launch later in 2022, it plans to eliminate the queue and expand its platform further in 2023.

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