Over a year since the peak of NFT sales, and their subsequent decline, innovative multi-billion-dollar companies are still attempting to cash in.
As part of its reward program, Starbucks has been testing NFTs and they are now being traded for thousands of dollars by NFT dealers.
The coffee giant unveiled its first commercial collection of NFTs last week: 2,000 digital “stamps” with a price tag of $100 each. Starbucks’ NFTs are known as “Journey Stamps,” a less formal word that may help customers describe their sales to those unfamiliar with the concept. CoinDesk claims the “stamps” were gone in under 20 minutes. During 2021’s crypto bull market, powerful companies released their NFTs to the trend’s massive potential profits. Over the past two years, as the crypto market has slowed, many of these initiatives have been scaled back or scrapped altogether. According to Non-Fungible data, NFT sales decreased 83% year-over-year in 2022.
Last December, one of the largest brands entered the NFT market: Starbucks. The Starbucks Odyssey initiative expands the company’s existing loyalty program. Customers can receive additional benefits simply by purchasing coffee and participating in the associated digital activities and tests. Starbucks praised the initiative as “a new, next-generation loyalty program model” and a “revolutionary Web3 experience.”
Over the past few years, dozens of major companies have used the NFT to its total capacity. The partial list includes Nike, Taco Bell, GameStop, Adidas, Paramount, a bunch of celebrities through a redesigned version of LimeWire, the NBA, CNN, etc.
When released, only the most devoted Starbucks and crypto fans snapped up the Starbucks NFTs. Nifty Gateway reports 1,164 unique occupants of a fresh NFT. Remarkably, the project has generated large amounts of money since its beta debut (a trial period with selected clients) in December. More than $200,000 worth of transactions have been made, with NFTs selling for as much as $1,900 on the secondary market despite originally costing consumers less than a cup of coffee.
On social media, crypto supporters gather around the program, contending that it is the best way to bring cryptocurrencies to the masses. The initiative was deemed “more holistic than the industry’s prior NFT forays” by experts at Bank of America.
Even though Thursday’s release of 2,000 Starbucks NFTs quickly sold out, more time is needed to prove that average coffee consumers will adopt NFTs as part of their routine. Although Starbucks has pledged future incentives to attract a broader audience, the program is driving Starbucks’ growth among the crypto community rather than the other way around.