Starbucks wants to get into the NFT business

Staring into the online void of random influencers selling pointless NFTs, I’ve often asked myself: Can it get any dumber?

The answer to that question is always yes, you can. Example: Starbucks plans to enter the NFT battle.

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During Starbucks’ second-quarter 2022 earnings call on Tuesday night, the company announced plans to enter the Web3 space with a series of NFTs. The NFT component is playing a role in the coffeehouse chain’s new branding as a “Third place‘, which Starbucks describes as a ‘warm and welcome place’ away from home or work, where people can ‘connect and build a community’.

If this sounds familiar, you will often find crypto advocates using the exact same jargon about “community building” when promoting their NFT projects.

Non-fungible tokens, more commonly known as NFTs, are tokens that are minted on a blockchain to provide proof of ownership. Like any token, these are speculative assets. These tokens often refer to a link from a piece of media – be that digital art, a photo, etc. – and act as a digital receipt for the purchase. It should be noted that the asset owned is the NFT itself, the token, and not the media it is associated with.

Interestingly enough, Starbucks’ announcement comes just after a dazzling report in the Wall Street Journal which showed that the NFT market was “flatlining”. According to the report, NFT sales are down 92 percent from their peak in September last year.

As for how Starbucks plans to use NFTs, it’s still a guess.

“We plan to create a series of proprietary NFT collections, whose ownership initiates community membership and access to exclusive experiences and benefits,” reads a blog post posted by Starbucks on its website in an effort to expand their NFT collection. further explain the vision. † “The themes of these collections will emerge from Starbucks artistic expressions, both heritage and newly created, as well as through world-class collaborations with other innovators and like-minded brands.”

What is this community membership? What are those exclusive experiences and benefits? Why can’t Starbucks just add these benefits to its already popular app to achieve the exact same goals? Starbucks still seems to be trying to work it all out.

Starbucks’ current interim CEO Howard Schultz said during the call that the company hopes to get a new permanent CEO with an understanding of Web3 technology, according to TechCrunch

This isn’t the first time Schultz has mentioned a possible foray into the NFT space for Starbucks. At a “Partner Open Forum” early last month, Schultz spoke to thousands of Starbucks employees amid an ongoing trade unionism within the company across the country. As Schultz explained his anti-union stance to his associates, he shared something to look forward to… Starbucks NFTs.

“Raise your hand if you’re a digital mom”, Schultz early the employees he spoke to on the forum. The response was lackluster, which seemed to have caught Schultz off guard. He went on to explain that the company planned to enter the NFT space in an effort to excite younger people.

It’s pretty clear that Stabucks’ NFT idea is a work-in-progress right now. But one thing’s for sure: those NFT benefits probably won’t include union benefits.

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