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Starbucks Brews Change: Ends NFT Stamps Program for New Horizons

The multinational coffee giant Starbucks has made the decision to discontinue its innovative Odyssey Beta program, which rewarded customers with digital collectible stamps, also known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), for engaging in coffee-themed games and challenges. This move, set to take effect on March 31, is aimed at making way for upcoming initiatives.

Starbucks initiated this program in the backdrop of a tumultuous period for the cryptocurrency industry, choosing the Polygon network for its operations due to its lower energy consumption compared to traditional proof-of-work blockchains. The company emphasized the environmental efficiency of Polygon’s “proof-of-stake” technology, which significantly reduces energy usage.

However, the future of Starbucks’ involvement with Web3 technologies remains uncertain following the program’s closure, with the company hinting at preparing for the next phase of its digital evolution. Despite the discontinuation, the Odyssey marketplace will transition to the Nifty marketplace, allowing the continued buying, selling, and transfer of Odyssey stamps.

The timing of Starbucks’ NFT endeavor was noteworthy, launching in September 2022 amidst significant downturns within the crypto sector, including the collapse of the Terra-Luna ecosystem, Celsius, and the challenges faced by the major crypto exchange FTX.

This decision mirrors actions taken by other major companies in recent times. For instance, GameStop announced the shutdown of its NFT marketplace after scaling back its crypto services, and Meta withdrew NFT features from Facebook and Instagram just 10 months after their debut.

The broader context includes diverse predictions for the NFT market’s future, with some industry leaders foreseeing a shift towards NFTs having more practical, real-world applications in sectors like real estate and luxury goods, moving beyond digital collectibles.

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