Starbucks today unveiled Starbucks Odyssey, which will be available later this year and marks the coffee company’s first step into creating using web3 technology. 

The web3 experience blends the company’s popular Starbucks Incentives loyalty program with an NFT platform, enabling users to earn and spend digital assets that unlock special experiences and rewards.

The business has previously hinted at its web3 intentions to investors, stating that it expected this new experience to expand on the existing Starbucks Rewards program, in which consumers earn “stars” that can be redeemed for advantages such as free beverages. 

Starbucks Odyssey is envisioned as a means for its most committed consumers to gain a greater range of incentives while also developing community.

Starbucks enlisted the expertise of Adam Brotman, the creator of its Mobile Order & Pay system and the Starbucks app, as a special adviser to help develop the project. Brotman’s team worked on Starbucks Odyssey alongside the Seattle coffee chain’s own marketing, loyalty, and technology teams. He is now the co-founder of Forum3, a web3 loyalty firm.

Starbucks has been researching blockchain technology for many years, but has just been active in this initiative for around six months, according to Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer. 

He claims that the corporation wants to engage in this sector, but not as a “stunt” side project, as many do. Rather, it sought to find a way to leverage technology to improve its operations and extend its current loyalty program.

It chose to make NFTs the passes that provide admission to this digital community, but it is purposefully concealing the nature of the technology behind the experience in order to attract more users — including non-technical individuals — to the web3 platform.

Users gain NFTs in Odyssey by completing tasks, which may involve a real-world action such as “taste three items on the espresso menu.” To have their transaction counted towards the Starbuck Odyssey challenge, the user would need to display their barcode at checkout, just as they would if they were earning stars. The corporation is currently deciding on the combination of games, challenges, and quests that will be available at launch.

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