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Starbucks says its NFT rewards program must come to an end

Validated Media

Multinational coffee chain Starbucks has announced it is ending its program that lets customers earn and buy digital collectible stamps in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to make room for new initiatives. 

According to a recent statement, Starbucks’ "Odyssey Beta program" will conclude on March 31. The program allowed users to engage in coffee-themed games and challenges in return for digital stamps that could be used to access new benefits and interactive experiences.

Additionally, the marketplace where users traded their digital stamps, as well as the community discord server, will shut down.

“The Odyssey marketplace will transition to the Nifty marketplace. You can continue to buy, sell, and transfer Odyssey stamps on the Nifty marketplace.”

The reason behind Starbucks' decision to shut down the program remains unclear, and it's uncertain whether another Web3 development will come in its place. 

However, it was stated that the company must "prepare for what comes next as we continue to evolve the program."

Starbucks launched the program in November 2022, during a challenging period for the crypto industry. This was after the Terra-Luna ecosystem collapsed in May 2022, Celsius crashed in July 2022, and just before the imminent collapse of major crypto exchange FTX.

When Starbucks launched the program, it opted for the Polygon network over proof-of-work blockchains because of its lower energy consumption.

“Starbucks will utilize a more energy efficient “proof-of-stake” blockchain technology built by Polygon, which uses significantly less energy than first generation “proof-of-work” blockchains,” the statement noted.

It was only in January that gaming retailer GameStop announced its decision to close its NFT marketplace after a series of cutbacks in its crypto services over the last two years.

Meanwhile, around this time last year, tech giant Meta pulled the plug on its NFT features across its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. This came only 10 months after the integrations first launched.

In December 2023, Cointelegraph asked several Web3 executives how they predict the NFT market will play out in 2024.

Vineet Budki, CEO of Web3 venture firm Cypher Capital, predicted that “2024 will see NFTs mature into valuable tools with real-world applications”

Oh Thongsrinoon, chief marketing officer of Altava Group — which connects luxury fashion brands with Web3 — told Cointelegraph that NFTs are more than just profile pictures (PFPs): “We’ve always been a big believer in NFT having utilities and value beyond just a PFP.”

He sees NFTs being implemented into industries like precious metals and real estate this year.

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