Starbucks Stops Its NFT Program Odyssey To Unlock the Next Chapter

In the latest development, Starbucks has chosen to conclude its two-year NFT Program, Odyssey, by the month’s end. Steve Kaczynski, the community lead for Starbucks Odyssey, initially shared this announcement. The decision arrives amidst a challenging period for the NFT market, characterized by notable price declines in recent weeks

Starbucks Discontinues NFT Program Odyssey

On Friday, Steve Kaczynski tweeted that his future was uncertain while leading Starbucks Odyssey. “Starbucks has decided to sunset Odyssey. There’s a ton of uncertainty about my future now because I just lost my full-time job, but I’m doing my best to look at the positives. I’m incredibly grateful for Starbucks and the opportunity they provided me. In the last 15 months, I had the chance to work with one of my favorite brands on the planet,” he wrote.

Later on Friday, on its FAQ page, Starbucks revealed its decision to halt its NFT program, which was in the beta phase, in order to “prepare for upcoming developments as the program evolves”.

NFTs Are Powerful for Community Building

In a podcast with TechCrunch last month, Steve Kaczynski emphasized that despite the decline in the NFT market from its peak, there are still opportunities for brands and loyalty programs to engage with their audience in innovative ways.

He predicts that in 2024, companies will further develop “brand anchors” within gated spaces like reward programs, emphasizing community-based brand building. Starbucks introduced Starbucks Odyssey in 2022, marking its entry into the web3 space. This initiative integrated the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program with NFTs to enrich customer interactions. Kaczynski said:

“We’re able to help people find their tribe.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.”

According to Kaczynski, the common perception of NFTs typically revolves around expensive digital artworks like those from the Bored Ape Yacht Club. However, he suggests that NFT ownership holds broader value beyond just artwork.

He emphasizes the potential for developing “third-party utilities” associated with NFTs, not limited to large corporations like Starbucks or Nike. Local businesses can also leverage NFTs to create loyalty programs or use tickets as assets to incentivize and engage customers.

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