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Starbucks enters the Metaverse with its NFT rewards program 'Starbucks Odyssey'

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(Kitco News) -  Starbucks has officially set off on its Web3 journey with the beta launch of Starbucks Odyssey, a new loyalty program that has been made available to a select group of waitlist members made up of customers and employees in the U.S.

The company opened access to the new platform on Thursday, allowing early participations to engage in Starbucks Odyssey ‘Journeys’, a series of “entertaining, interactive activities to earn collectible ‘Journey Stamps’ (NFTs) and Odyssey Points that will unlock access to exciting new benefits and experiences,” the announcement said.

The world's largest coffee franchise first announced that it was working on the new platform back in September when it selected the layer-two network Polygon to host the program.

Starbucks Odyssey is an extension of Starbucks Rewards that is powered by Web3 technology and designed to unlock new benefits and experiences for members.

The initial invitations were sent to a small group of waitlist members and Starbucks partners in December. Beginning in January 2023, the company will start sending monthly invitations to a wider group of members on the waitlist.

After completing a ‘Journey’, members will earn collectible ‘Journey Stamps’, which are nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and Odyssey Points that will “open access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences,” the company said. “Starbucks Odyssey is an experience, surrounded by a digital community, where members can come together, interact, and share their love of coffee.”

There are a range of Journey activities available, including a virtual tour of Starbucks coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, trivia about Starbucks heritage, and interactive games like Starbucks for Life.

“Journey activities are entertaining ways to learn more about coffee, Starbucks history, and pop culture and offer opportunities to explore coffees and beverages at Starbucks that may lead to the discovery of a new favorite coffee,” the company said. “Once a Journey is complete, members will be awarded with a collectable ‘Journey Stamp’ (a Polygon-based NFT) and bonus Points towards their overall Point total.”

The more stamps collected by members, the higher their point total will climb, unlocking access to additional benefits and experiences, such as access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations, invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, or trips to Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica for the highest levels.

Starbucks Odyssey also has a market powered by Nifty Gateway where users can buy or sell Starbucks Odyssey digital collectible Stamps among members.

Metaverse interest is high, but further development is needed - survey

This development from Starbucks comes as companies around the world are showing an increased interest in the Metaverse and looking to establish their presence early on.

A recent study conducted by business and technology strategy adviser Capgemini showed that 93% of adult consumers surveyed indicated that they are curious about the Metaverse and interested in learning more about it, highlighting its future growth potential. Companies that establish their presence in the early days stand to benefit from increased exposure and a low amount of competition as the technology is still in its infancy.

Last month, Web3 gaming giant Animoca Brands revealed that it was preparing to launch a $2 billion fund dedicated to investing in metaverse companies. Meanwhile, the list of globally recognized brands that have already established their presence continues to grow, with the likes of Samsung, Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Domino's, Sotheby's and Atari ahead of the game in staking their claim in the Metaverse.

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