Starbucks ferme son programme de récompenses NFT

Starbucks ends its NFT rewards initiative

In an unexpected turn of events revealing the fluctuations of the digital world, the major coffee chain Starbucks has announced the imminent end of its attempted foray into the world of NFTs, through its program called Starbucks Odyssey. Launched in late 2022, Starbucks Odyssey presented itself as a promising NFT-based rewards platform, generating excitement within the Web3 community. However, this initiative, still in the closed beta phase and accessible only by invitation, will never see the light of day in its final form.

The decision to discontinue Starbucks Odyssey surprised and disappointed many fans. Initially, this ambitious project was to mark Starbucks’ entry into the NFT sector, enthusiastically announced by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, in a context where the company was exploring innovative ways to thwart union initiatives. Schultz even talked about NFTs as a promising future for Starbucks employees, hoping to capture their imagination and present them with a future without unions.

This attempt to capitalize on the NFT wave came at a time when cryptocurrencies were experiencing interesting dynamics, although this came before the sector suffered a major crash in 2022. These recent economic ups and downs have undoubtedly contributed to a some general distrust of digital currencies and non-fungible tokens, particularly after the notable market decline and the financial scandal surrounding FTX.

The closure of Starbucks Odyssey was made official on the site’s FAQ, listing the program’s closing date as March 31. Users had until March 25 to complete the remaining “journeys,” interactive activities offering the chance to earn NFTs as well as reward points. At the same time, conviviality and community exchanges around the program, in particular via the Discord channel, will be extinguished on March 19.

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**The resonance of Starbucks Odyssey** apart from its discreet existence, was more marked by its sudden cancellation than by its real impact in the NFT space. This abrupt shutdown even led to the dismissal of employees related to the project, including Steve Kaczynski, Starbucks Odyssey community manager. Kaczynski previously expressed his positive expectations for the evolution of Starbucks-branded NFTs, reflecting the hope and commitment behind this program.

Despite this epilogue, Starbucks has confirmed that NFTs acquired through Odyssey can still be owned, traded or sold on the Nifty Gateway NFT marketplace. This decision closes a chapter in Starbucks’ brief adventure in the world of NFTs, highlighting the challenges and uncertainties associated with the integration of blockchain technologies into the loyalty and customer engagement strategies of major brands.