Fancy an NFT with your iced latte? Starbucks’ newest announcement wasn’t for a new drink but a metaverse project called ‘Starbucks Odyssey’.
If you’re a Starbucks rewards member or employee, you can expect to earn and buy digital collectable stamps (NFTs) that will unlock access to immersive experiences.
On Monday, the coffeehouse giant said that it was working on a ‘revolutionary Web3 experience for its Starbucks rewards members’.
The company will use a ‘proof-of-stake’ blockchain technology built by Polygon, which uses less energy than older ‘proof-of-work’ blockchains.
Starting September 12, customers and employees can join the waitlist to receive access to the Starbucks Odyssey experience, which will launch later this year.
The program will be available in the United States but it’s unclear if it will be expanded to stores around the world.
Starbucks Odyssey will be an extension of the the company’s rewards program that members can access using their login credentials. Once logged in, members can engage in ‘journeys,’ a series of activities, such as playing interactive games or taking on fun challenges to deepen their knowledge of coffee and Starbucks.
Members will be rewarded for completing journeys with a digital collectable ‘journey stamp’ (NFT). They can also purchase ‘limited-edition stamps’ through a built-in marketplace within a branded web app.
‘Limited-edition stamps will be available for all members to purchase directly with a credit card. No crypto wallet or cryptocurrency will be required,’ said Starbucks.
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.
As stamps are collected, members’ points will increase, unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences like virtual espresso martini-making class, access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations, invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or even trips to its Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica.
Starbucks follows companies like McDonald’s and Panera Bread in taking their business into Web3. But unlike opening virtual restaurants in the metaverse, Starbucks has chosen to integrate it into its rewards ecosystem.
The idea of the metaverse went mainstream last year when Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was rebranding itself to Meta, implying his focus on building products for the metaverse.
Invitations will be sent to select waitlist members later this year, who will be among the first to explore the experience. Customers can sign up for the waitlist at https://waitlist.starbucks.com/ starting today.
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