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Starbucks Ends NFT Rewards Program, Paving the Way for New Ventures

Starbucks, the well-known global coffee chain, has decided to discontinue its NFT rewards program.

The program, named the “Odyssey Beta program,” is set to end on March 31, as per a recent announcement.

This initiative allowed customers to engage in coffee-themed games and challenges, earning digital collectible stamps in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which granted access to exclusive benefits and interactive experiences.

In addition to shutting down the marketplace where users traded their digital stamps, Starbucks will also be closing its community Discord server.

However, the company has stated that the Odyssey marketplace will transition to the Nifty marketplace, allowing users to continue buying, selling, and transferring their Odyssey stamps on the new platform.

Starbucks Terminates NFT Program to Perpare for New Ventures

The motivations behind Starbucks’ choice to end the program have not been revealed.

However, the company has expressed the necessity to “prepare for what comes next as we continue to evolve the program.”

Starbucks initially introduced the Odyssey program in September 2022, a time marked by challenges in the cryptocurrency sector.

This launch followed substantial disruptions within the Terra-Luna ecosystem, Celsius, and the looming collapse of prominent crypto exchange FTX.

In developing the program, Starbucks selected the Polygon network for its reduced energy consumption compared to proof-of-work blockchains.

Starbucks’ decision mirrors a trend among companies withdrawing from the NFT sphere.

In January, gaming retailer GameStop disclosed the shutdown of its NFT marketplace after reducing its crypto services over the previous two years.

Likewise, tech behemoth Meta (formerly Facebook) ended its NFT functionalities across its social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, merely 10 months after their initial integration.

More recently, X (formerly Twitter), under Elon Musk’s ownership, ceased a feature enabling premium users to utilize NFT images as their profile pictures.

What Does the Future Hold for NFTs?

Moving forward, industry experts hold diverse forecasts for the trajectory of the NFT market in 2024.

Vineet Budki, CEO of Web3 venture firm Cypher Capital, foresees NFTs evolving into valuable assets with tangible real-world applications.

On the other hand, Oh Thongsrinoon, chief marketing officer of Altava Group, which facilitates connections between luxury fashion brands and Web3, believes that NFTs will transcend their current role as mere profile pictures (PFPs).

Thongsrinoon envisions NFTs being integrated into various industries such as precious metals and real estate throughout the year.

It’s important to highlight that the NFT market has experienced a recent uptrend alongside the recovery in cryptocurrency prices.

In October, NFT trading volume soared by $99 million, hitting $405 million, marking sales levels not witnessed since August.

Similarly, NFT sales on the Bitcoin (BTC) network achieved a significant milestone in December 2023, exceeding $881 million for the first time ever.

This encompassed 111,713 buyer addresses and 98,744 seller addresses, setting the highest single-month records to date.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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