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Starbucks to launch Web3 platform, NFTs


On Tuesday, Starbucks announced plans to create a digital community Web3 platform, including the release of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The coffeehouse chain intends to bring its ‘third place’ concept – a place to relax between home and work – from the physical world into the digital world, extending its loyalty experience.

Yesterday CEO Howard Schultz indicated that Starbucks is moving away from the third-place concept for its physical stores due to changes in consumer behavior following the pandemic. The coffeehouse chain will focus more on drive-through sales in the physical world while creating a digital third place community.

Last month, Schultz announced that Starbucks would enter the NFT business by the end of 2022. The company intends to release a series of branded NFT collections to create a community that receives exclusive perks and benefits for owners.

“Many people see NFTs as a new form of ownership of digital art, often traded in a highly speculative way. While that’s been true on some level in the early days in the space, we are fascinated by how NFTs allow people to own a programmable, brandable digital asset, that also doubles as an access pass,” said Starbucks chief marketing officer, Brady Brewer and advisor Adam Brotman in a statement on Tuesday.

“We believe NFTs have broad potential to create an expanded, shared-ownership model for loyalty, the offering of unique experiences, community building, storytelling, and customer engagement.”

The initiative will support multiple blockchains and comply with Starbuck’s sustainability stance.

Starbucks is a participant in the Bakkt digital asset wallet and rewards project, which enables customers to use Bakkt stored bitcoin, rewards points, or other Bakkt assets to top up a Starbucks card through an iOS app.

As well as rewarding customers for owning NFTs, some companies have chosen to distribute NFTs as rewards. McDonald’s USA celebrated the return of its McRib with the launch of limited edition NFTs to ten participating customers. And AMC Entertainment partnered with Sony to give away NFTs to the first ticket purchasers of its new Spider-Man: No Way Home movie.

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