It took Starbucks a little too long to realize coffee NFTs aren’t it

Technology

Starbucks is pulling the plug on Odyssey, its Web3 rewards program that gave members access to collectible NFTs. The company updated its on Friday to let members know that the beta program is closing on March 31, and they have a little over a week left to complete any remaining activities (called journeys). Those will shut down March 25. Users won’t lose their Stamps (Starbucks’ NFTs), which are hosted on Nifty Gateway, but they’ll have to sign up for Nifty using their Starbucks Rewards email to access them there, if they haven’t already.

Starbucks was late to the NFT game with Odyssey, which launched in beta in late 2022 — well after interest in the digital collectibles peaked. Unlike some other NFT ventures from major brands, though, it seemed to be aiming for more than a quick cash grab. It gamified the rewards system, offering activities and coffee-related mini-games that encouraged members’ ongoing participation.

In a conversation with published just last month, Odyssey community lead Steve Kaczynski emphasized the community element, saying, “I’ve seen that people who live in California in the Starbucks Odyssey community are really good friends with people in Chicago and they have met up in real life at times. This never would have happened if not for Web3.” But it’s 2024, and brands and consumers alike have long since moved on from NFTs. (Naturally, Forum3, which worked with Starbucks on Odyssey, seems to have pivoted to AI).

Starbucks says the Odyssey marketplace, where members could buy and sell their stamps, will move over to the Nifty marketplace. They can also withdraw their Stamps to trade them on other platforms.

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