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NFT Weekly: Beyoncé, Bruno Mars Hitmakers Go Ape


Starbucks has been an early adopter of crypto — or at least an early experimenter — since 2019 when it first started testing various pay-with-bitcoin tools, notably through its loyalty program.

Now it’s adding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to its Starbucks Rewards loyalty program via the Starbucks Odyssey program, which will give members “the opportunity to earn and purchase digital collectible assets that will unlock access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences.”

See also: Starbucks Launches Loyalty Program Built on NFT Tech

Specifically, members will be able to engage in “journeys” that include playing games and taking challenges that expand their coffee knowledge and give them the potential to earn experiential rewards.

Those rewards range from espresso martini-making classes and events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries to — at the high end — visits to Starbucks’ Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica. Merchandise and NFTs by both Starbucks partners and outside artists will also be obtainable, and limited edition, cause-supporting NFTs will be offered, too.

Read more: Big Brands Replacing Membership, Loyalty Programs With NFTs

The NFTs, called stamps, can be earned or purchased and will have points-based rarity. They can be collected on the Starbucks app — no special crypto digital wallet needed — and can be bought and sold on an in-house marketplace.

The program, which was announced on Sept. 12, is currently waitlisted and will roll out beginning this year.

It will be a huge win for the Polygon blockchain, which is generally considered one of the “Ethereum killer” blockchains competing with the top smart-contract platform, even though it is actually a Layer 2 scaling solution built on top of Ethereum. Minting new NFTs on Ethereum can be very costly due to high transaction fees.

Related: Blockchain Basics Series: What is Polygon? An Ethereum Killer Hedges Its Bets

Polygon is, Starbucks noted, an environmentally friendly Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain. Ethereum is switching from its horribly polluting bitcoin-style Proof-of-Work blockchain into PoS-based Ethereum 2.0 this week, after a years-long process that will eventually make it scalable enough to handle payments on a broad scale.

Learn more: Ethereum 2.0 May Be Greener, but Is It Scalable Enough for Payments?

Smaller Scale, Big Success

On the other side of the loyalty program spectrum, Soapy Joe’s, a San Diego car wash firm with 17 locations, has seen a boom in business and marketing success since beginning a scavenger hunt loyalty program game with NFTs as the reward, CoinDesk reported.

The NFTs unlock loyalty program rewards that range from key chains and amusement park tickets to free annual car wash memberships. NFT-related emails have a 71% open rate — far above normal — and 2,000 customers have minted 10,000 digital collectables, with program membership up 10%.

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Read More: NFT Weekly: Beyoncé, Bruno Mars Hitmakers Go Ape

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