Starbucks Ends NFT Rewards Program

Starbucks, the multinational coffee chain, has announced that it will be ending its program that allows customers to earn and purchase digital collectible stamps in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in order to make way for new initiatives. The program, known as the “Odyssey Beta program,” will come to a close on March 31. Customers participating in the program could engage in coffee-themed games and challenges to earn digital stamps, which provided access to various benefits and interactive experiences. The marketplace where users traded their digital stamps and the community discord server will be shut down as well. The Odyssey marketplace will transition to the Nifty marketplace, where users can continue to buy, sell, and transfer their stamps.

The reason behind Starbucks’ decision to end the program is unclear, and it is uncertain whether there will be another development related to Web3 in its place. The company stated that it must prepare for future developments as the program continues to evolve. Starbucks initially launched the program in November 2022 during a challenging period for the cryptocurrency industry, which saw several collapses and crashes. When launching the program, Starbucks chose the Polygon network due to its lower energy consumption compared to proof-of-work blockchains.

It is worth noting that GameStop, a gaming retailer, recently announced the closure of its NFT marketplace after scaling back its crypto services over the past two years. Similarly, Meta, the tech giant behind social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, discontinued its NFT features only 10 months after their launch.

Experts in the Web3 industry predict that NFTs will continue to grow in value and find real-world applications. Vineet Budki, CEO of Cypher Capital, a Web3 venture firm, believes that NFTs will mature into valuable tools in 2024. Oh Thongsrinoon, chief marketing officer of Altava Group, which connects luxury fashion brands with Web3, sees potential for NFTs to be implemented in industries such as precious metals and real estate this year. This suggests that NFTs have greater utility and value beyond being mere profile pictures.

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