Do you want an NFT to go with your latte? Starbucks said today that it will offer NFT rewards to its customers through Polygon, which is an Ethereum scaling network. With NFTs, you can get things like merchandise and tickets to events.
When the Starbucks Odyssey program starts later this year, customers and employees in the United States will be able to earn digital stamps as rewards and also buy and trade limited edition digital stamps. Each stamp will be made as an NFT, which is a blockchain token that shows ownership of things like digital collectibles and artwork.
The initiative is billed as an expansion of the Starbucks Rewards program. Customers can earn “journey stamp” NFTs by completing challenges and playing interactive games on the coffee chain’s app.
The company will sell the limited edition NFT stamps, which can be bought with a credit card. Customers won’t need cryptocurrency to “claim an ownership stake in their loyalty to Starbucks,” as the company puts it. Then, a Starbucks Odyssey web app will have a secondary market where stamp owners can buy and sell stamps as they wish.
The NFTs will raise a user’s level in the Odyssey app, which could lead to rewards like virtual classes on how to mix drinks, exclusive merchandise, access to private events, or a trip to Starbucks’ coffee farm in Costa Rica. The company said that some of the money made from selling NFT will go to help causes that have not yet been named.
NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway said in a series of tweets today that it will power the Starbucks Odyssey platform. The marketplace is best known for NFT collections from artists like Beeple and musician The Weeknd. It recently started a Publishers program that lets brands and creators make their own NFT drops using the Nifty Gateway technology.
Polygon is an Ethereum sidechain that makes it possible to make transactions that are faster, cheaper, and use less energy than what Ethereum’s mainnet can do on its own. Companies like Coca-Cola and Reddit have launched NFTs on Polygon in recent months, and Disney chose Polygon for its Web3 accelerator program this past summer.
Starbucks has been teasing about its Web3 project for months. Some employees have even said that some NFT platforms are bad for the environment. Polygon uses a lot less energy than Ethereum because it is a proof-of-stake network that doesn’t use crypto mining. The Ethereum network, on the other hand, is about to get an upgrade that is good for the environment. This is called the merge, and it will change the mainnet to proof of stake.