Starbucks is creating a “worldwide digital community” around coffee, with an NFT loyalty program. Its minting will take place before the end of this year.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, along with executive vice president and chief marketing officer Brady Brewer, explained to investors during their Q2 2022 earnings presentation that the coffee company will add “new concepts such as ownership and community-based membership models that we see developing in the Web 3 space.” Brewer went further, saying: “Imagine acquiring a new digital collectible from Starbucks, where that product also serves as your access pass to a global Starbucks community, one with engaging content experiences and collaboration all centered around coffee.”
The firm’s official blog offers further insight into what all of that entails:
We’ll be launching a series of branded NFT collections,
each of which will provide members with special experiences and benefits. These themes will be inspired by Starbucks’ creative ideas, both ancient and new, as well as through world-class collaborations with other innovators and like-minded brands. Starbucks isn’t the only one cashing in on the NFT hype – a number of high-profile companies and celebrities have been minting their own NFTs, including NBA Top Shot, Jack Dorsey, Kings of Leon, and Grimes. The move could help Starbucks tap into the $250 million NFT market, which is only expected to grow.
The strategy will be introduced as a digital collectible-enhanced loyalty program powered by non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which were the most talked about term last year. Customers are expected to be able to earn points or “stars” based on their purchases, possibly similar to how they can earn stars at hotels and other leisure businesses. These Starbucks-branded NFTs can be used to unlock experiences, such as early access to new products, special events, and more.
What are the benefits and perks, and why does blockchain technology need to be used for them? Your guess is as good as ours, but Starbucks executives are looking at the company’s history of being early to adopt mobile payments and Wi-Fi and believe that things will work similarly here with a noticeable boost in profits. On the same day that Starbucks informed the public of its NFT plans, the company also announced it would be accepting cryptocurrency as payment for coffee in all Starbucks locations around the world. This move by Starbucks is likely to increase mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The use of blockchain technology will allow Starbucks to keep track of their coffee beans from farm to cup and ensure that they are ethically and sustainably sourced. Starbucks has always been a leader in sustainable sourcing practices, and this move will only solidify their commitment to those practices. In addition, the use of blockchain technology will allow Starbucks to create a traceable supply chain for their coffee beans, which will further increase transparency and accountability.
The first NFT pitch by Starbucks’ CEO came during an Open Forum for employees to apologize for “not doing enough” to support them and vow that “we’ll do better for our partners.” Schultz attempted to connect with the much younger, significantly less billionaire-ish crowd of workers by asking a relatable question about their investments while making his case against “purchasing things that have no intrinsic value.” Schultz then made the case that Starbucks’ (SBUX) long history as a mobile-first company and Starbucks Rewards program make it well positioned to take advantage of NFTs.
To date, the firm has no idea which blockchain it may use or if it will utilize more than one, but whatever approach it takes will certainly be long-lasting – even if researchers have said those eco-friendly blockchain promises don’t always add up. Even so, Starbucks just has to construct a simple usage of crypto wallets that work for its 26.7 million rewards members, maintain their accounts from persistent phishing assaults, and secure its own processes against smart contract flaws or worse to ensure it succeeds. They can simply attach digital trinkets with a verifiable and unchangeable record of ownership to customer accounts, then design an ecosystem where people can buy, sell, or trade Starbucks-related NFTs.
Starbucks also has to avoid one major misstep: making customers pay more for their coffee with cryptocurrency than they would with fiat currency. It’s a balancing act, but Starbucks has always been known for its customer service innovation.
Bored Apes Developer Sues NFT Counterfeiter
The corporation that is responsible for the Bored Ape Yacht Club has filed a lawsuit against conceptual artist Ryder Ripps because he sold replicas of the company’s non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. In the lawsuit that was submitted to a court in California over the weekend, Ripps is accused of engaging in a “calculated, planned, and willful” plot to hurt BAYC while simultaneously promoting his own work that is similar to BAYC’s.
Ripps and Yuga Labs have been in conflict with one another for a number of months, in part as a result of Ripps’ RR/BAYC NFT series. The series made use of BAYC photos, but connected them with a different cryptocurrency and sold them for the equivalent of approximately $200 each. This price was a steal in comparison to the real thing, which sells for a minimum of approximately $100,000 at the moment. “This is not some simple game of monkey see, monkey do. According to the lawsuit, this is an intentional attempt to cause injury to Yuga Labs at the cost of consumers by spreading doubt regarding whether or not these RR/BAYC NFTs are endorsed, associated, or connected to Yuga Labs’ official Bored Ape Yacht Club.
The lawsuit brings a variety of allegations against Ripps, including deceptive advertising and violation of trademark rights. It requests monetary penalties as well as a court order ordering that he stop infringing on BAYC’s work. Additionally, it requests that he be prohibited from using domain names that are “confusingly similar,” such as apemarket.com.
Ripps, who has also sold original NFTs, defined his work as a spin on appropriation art, investigating “the capacity of NFTs to shift meaning, establish provenance, and elude censorship.” Ripps’s work has also been shown in galleries and museums. He has been involved in ventures of a similar nature in the past, such as the sale of a CryptoPunk that had been subtly altered and was intended to make fun of the series. “The lawsuit grossly mischaracterizes the RR/BAYC project,” he stated in a statement that was published on Twitter. He asserted that consumers were fully advised that they weren’t purchasing an official Bored Ape product when they made their purchases.
The idea that the work was satirical criticism is one that Yuga Labs does not accept. It portrays the work as being a part of a longer-running vengeance against the corporation, against which Ripps has stated that the company is trolling its audience with racist overtones. Ripps has claimed that the BAYC series makes frequent mentions of coded white supremacist words and symbols. These include the pseudonyms of the show’s creators, the BAYC logo, and the decision to create humanoid apes, which Ripps claims is part of the larger racist tradition of comparing African Americans to apes.
The Anti-Defamation League has voiced some skepticism over his interpretations, despite the fact that he is not the first individual to make these allegations. Yuga Labs addressed the theory earlier this year, referring to it as “very unpleasant.” Additionally, Yuga Labs co-founder Gordon Goner provided a detailed response to Ripps’ charges in a blog post that was published on Medium.
Yuga has a lot more on his mind than just Ripps. A side project called the “metaverse” that was spawned by BAYC has run into some difficulties on the way to its introduction, and it is also being impacted by a larger decline in the value of the cryptocurrency market. However, because to things like a recent music video that Eminem and Snoop Dogg collaborated on to promote their album Bored Apes, it has achieved a level of prominence that most other NFT lineups have not yet achieved.
The work of Ripps and other copycat NFTs has brought up problems regarding the appropriate application of copyright law to cryptographic works of art. Ripps also makes mention of the fact that the terms of the BAYC copyright appear to be somewhat ambiguous and even conflicting. However, Ripps is not accused of violating any intellectual property rights in this litigation. It will therefore depend on factors such as whether Ripps was legitimately confusing people with his work — or whether people were buying into the project specifically because it wasn’t BAYC — rather than offering an early look at how courts will treat that issue. This will be the case rather than offering an early look at how courts will treat that issue.
NFTs & The Metaverse: Ready or Not Here They Come
The way we interact with property is changing, and NFTs are at the forefront of this change. NFTs have revolutionized the way we buy and sell property, by making it possible to store data about ownership on the blockchain. This means that we can manage our personal data more securely, and that we can buy and sell property without the need for a central authority.
Web 3.0, the Metaverse, and NFTs are all interconnected through blockchain technology.
Blockchain is the underlying technology that enables NFTs to function, and it is also what allows us to create decentralized applications (dApps) on the web. The Metaverse is a vision of a future where the entire internet is built on blockchain technology, and NFTs are a key part of that vision.
When you buy an NFT, you are buying a token that represents ownership of a digital asset. This could be anything from a piece of digital art, to a virtual world, to a piece of music. The key difference between an NFT and other digital assets is that an NFT is stored on the blockchain.
The blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger that records transactions in a secure and transparent way.
When you buy an NFT, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain, and this provides proof of ownership. Because the blockchain is immutable, this means that the ownership of an NFT cannot be changed or tampered with. One of the benefits of storing data about ownership on the blockchain is that it is much more secure than traditional methods. With an NFT, you own your data – no one else can access it or change it without your permission. This is in contrast to traditional methods of buying and selling property, where a central authority holds all the data about who owns what.
Another benefit of NFTs is that they enable decentralized property buying and selling. Because there is no central authority controlling the blockchain, buyers and sellers can interact directly with each other. This means that there are no middlemen taking a cut of the profits, and it also makes the process of buying and selling property much more efficient.
Web 3.0 is the next evolution of the internet, where all applications are built on decentralized, open-source infrastructure.
The major benefit of Web 3.0 is that it is decentralized. Rather than using services run by centralized technology giants like Google, Apple, or Facebook, Web 3.0 allows users to establish and operate parts of the internet for themselves.
NFTs are the perfect way to represent and manage data on a decentralized web. Because they are stored on the blockchain, NFTs cannot be changed or deleted without the owner’s permission. This makes them ideal for representing digital assets like art, music, and other forms of media.
The Metaverse is a virtual world built on Web 3.0 infrastructure.
It is a place where people can meet, interact, and create together. The Metaverse is powered by NFTs, which are used to represent everything in the virtual world – from avatars to buildings. As we can see, NFTs, Web 3.0, and the Metaverse are all interconnected through blockchain technology. NFTs are the perfect way to represent data on a decentralized web, and the Metaverse is a great example of how this technology can be used to create a virtual world.
There is a good chance that NFTs or some form of this technology will become accepted within mainstream society. This is because NFTs offer a more secure and efficient way to buy and sell property, goods, and services. In addition, the use of NFTs can help to reduce fraudulent activities. After what the world went through as a result of the banking crisis in 2008, it may truly be promising to finally have an alternative to the traditional banking system.
Read more about NFTs here
NFTs Are Hampered By Reality
At a recent conference, Ro gave a presentation that provided an insider’s perspective on where we are with NFTs and where we are headed. She had some significant commercial potential, but the solutions she proposed to the problems was not particularly convincing.
Everyone can find something that interests them here, from NFT artwork to digital injections.
According to Ro, “any social or physical thing can now have a unique identifier and proof of ownership that is verifiable on the blockchain” This statement was made in reference to the technology known as the blockchain.
Even though she acknowledges that the market is “extremely messy, as all new things are,” she is of the opinion that the underlying value that is being delivered is the one-of-a-kind quality of that personally verifiable token, in addition to the potential to “inject economics” into this situation.
She gave an example of purchasing and selling without any complications, as well as fractionalized ownership. In the latter scenario, a person who is in possession of a token that represents annual membership in a sports club has the ability to sell the remaining portion of their membership to another subscriber who is interested in joining the club.
It’s hardly the worst idea in the world. In many different countries, breaking an annual contract might be a real hassle. For contracts formed before January 2022 in Germany, for example, a three-month notice or proof of departure is required; therefore, if this simplifies such processes, I am all for it.
NFTs, on the other hand, have the potential to transcend well beyond transactional memberships in order to act as a catalyst for value addition.
Fans of many sports can have a better view of the action thanks to the use of NFTs.
Ro envisioned a scenario in which NFTs would make it possible for fans to communicate with one another, complete with unique perks such as inner VIP access and the opportunity for advertisers to develop “more stickiness” within their communities.
Ro asserts that one can make a significant amount of money engaging in sports and NFTs. It seems to make sense to me.
Although Ro acknowledges that “there are numerous intermediates, and they are still figuring it out,” I feel that it will be substantially more challenging to adopt NFTs in the context of stadium sports.
Fans in smart sports stadiums presently have access to sports commentary and can communicate with athletes via wearable technology. These stadiums also feature sophisticated fan apps that cover several industries, such as the food and beverage industry and the transit ticket industry.
It sounds like a lot of work to get these different verticals to cooperate with one another, even though they’ve already done it successfully in an existing product.
So the question is, how do we get from crypto enthusiasts and early adopters to mainstream apps that unite massive, diverse communities?
Would people use non-traditional trading methods?
Ro is optimistic about the prospects of mission-driven DAOs and uses Ukraine as an example.
The National Financial Token Museum (MetaHistory NFT Museum) is a blockchain-based narrative of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that displays NFTs as examples of digital art. It was established by the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation.
Additionally, a lot of people are turning to NFTs as a means of generating income for Ukraine. Even if most people have honest motivations, I believe that the vast majority of them lack the digital auditing skills necessary to differentiate between actual accounts and fraudulent ones.
Aside from the possibility of being defrauded, there are other problems with the security of cryptocurrencies to take into consideration, as well as the obviously enormous carbon impact they have.
Regrettably, there are a lot of reasons to be concerned about this.
According to Ro, on the other hand, the Bitcoin network has never been successfully hacked. However, she does acknowledge that a large amount of energy is expended in order to provide that level of security. She was alluding to either secure cryptocurrency or an impact on the environment that had a low carbon footprint when she said, “What are you ready to live with?”
She also acknowledges that it is impossible to exclude all harmful actors. In addition, it is difficult to install safety barriers without stifling innovation. She acknowledges that accredited investors are “a very specific socio class who don’t need to create money,” but more legislation could restrict ownership of NFTs to only those investors who meet the requirements.
In my perspective, NFTs have the potential to be useful in a variety of applications. However, I am not confident that we will witness widespread adoption or the mainstreaming of their means of producing wealth.
My impression is that many of the same people are getting rich, with a few interesting anomalies tossed in for good measure. One such illustration is provided by JDL Street Art. The previous year, she set a record by selling artwork for a total of €2.9 million in bitcoin, and she gave one-third of that amount to a charitable organization.
Nevertheless, there is always a starting point for any activity. The essential goals of NFTs, which include integrating the physical and virtual economies, may just become a reality, despite the fact that I have my doubts that money will inevitably follow.
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