Since its launch, Starbuck's NFT program has made over $200,000 in sales, which is a good sign. However, is it worth it for crypto fans and other people?
2021 was a golden year for the crypto market, during which a lot of famous brands introduced their own NFTs, hoping that it will result in profit for their brand. However, their hopes were shattered with the downfall of cryptocurrencies, resulting in the abandoning of these ventures, as NFT sales dropped 83% compared to the previous year.
Starbucks Web3 Entry via NFTs
With its project, Starbucks Odyssey, launched in December, Starbucks moved into the NFT space. This is a new part of their rewards program, which lets people earn points by buying coffee and playing online games and quizzes. Since December, when it started in beta with a small group of customers, the project has already raised a huge amount of money. On the secondary market, NFTs that only cost a little more than a few cups of coffee can be bought for as much as $1,900, even though they were sold for more than $200,000 in the first place.
On social media, crypto fans are praising the program and saying that it's a great way for crypto to get into the mainstream. Analysts from Bank of America liked the program and said it was "more complete than the industry's previous NFT initiatives." The new batch of 2,000 Starbucks NFTs sold very quickly, and they were all gone in just minutes. Each NFT was sold for $100, which caused so much activity on the website that it crashed.
The buzz about Starbucks' NFT program, on the other hand, seems to be a bit overblown. The increase in activity hasn't changed much, if anything, about whether or not most people who drink coffee every day will add Starbucks NFTs to their daily routines. With the program being used by the crypto community, they are in the lead. Even though Starbucks said it would offer rewards and other incentives in the future to bring in more customers.
The Unknown NFT Chase for Starbucks Odyssey
It's important to remember that Starbucks doesn't call their NFTs "NFTs." Instead, they call them "stamps." And most of them aren't kept on the blockchain. Customers have to do certain things to get stamps. There are trivia questions about Starbucks and coffee, or you can order two drinks with non-dairy milk. These stamps go into the Starbucks Rewards accounts of the people who bought them. Recently, the company started letting customers buy certain stamps instead of having to earn them.
At the moment, crypto and web3 fans, as well as Starbucks, are pushing for the program to be used. Chris Fierro is from Rhode Island and says he loves coffee. He used to work as a barista at Starbucks and was excited to hear about Odyssey when he first heard about it. Fierro says that so far, the process has been easy because credits are added to his account whenever he finishes a task, like buying a bag of coffee beans in a store.
Starbucks is using the ideas of scarcity and utility to make their NFTs more valuable. The Holiday Cheer Stamp was only made in 5000 copies for their first NFT release. Even though the stamp's owner is still unknown, the company says that NFT holders will get special perks like classes on how to make martinis and trips to coffee farms in Costa Rica. So, NFT traders are betting that the NFT's current value, which has risen above $1,000, will be less than the rewards that Starbucks has promised. Fierro says that people are either betting that the price will go up or trying to complete their set, which is common in the cryptocurrency world.
Web3 Requires Slow and Steady Approach
Even though Starbucks has made a lot of money from the NFT program, it is not clear if regular customers will accept it. The easy registration process through Nifty Gateway is meant to make it easy for people to use, but it also puts their tickets at risk of being lost if the program ends. The public seems slow to get on board, and some Starbucks employees think the initiative is boring and just a marketing ploy because they haven't heard anything from customers.
When TIME asked Starbucks baristas at JFK airport about the program, they seemed confused by it. Even getting Starbucks Odyssey's target audience to buy in has been slow at times. In January, Maika Isogawa, who started the company Web3 and is a big fan of Starbucks, said bad things about the app. She says it is "poorly done" and doesn't like the "Flappy Bird-like game" because it reminds her of something she made in her first year of college. But in March, she wrote to TIME that she now liked the program: "Starbucks is one of the few companies trying any kind of Web3 loyalty program and doing a good job at it."
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