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Newsletter #33 Starbucks Joins the NFT hype train

December 12, 2022
3 min read

From the Editor 

Gm tigers, 

Another week, another mega brand adopting Web3 tech

Starbucks, the coffee OG itself, is launching a NFT royalty program called "Starbucks Odyssey." According to the company, its loyal customers can earn coffee NFTs that unlock special virtual and real-life experiences with the program. The coffee giant is apparently creating a new platform where users can take part in immersive experiences called "journeys." These activities will include watching short sketches, taking surveys, solving puzzles, and trying out new drinks introduced by the company at their physical stores. As people complete these experiences, they’ll earn Journey points, which can be exchanged for NFT badges. The basic idea is to accelerate customer engagement and build a tight-knit community through the NFTs. Collecting journey stamps will unlock more content and perks for customers. There are reportedly three levels of benefits that members can unlock. At the beginning of their odyssey, community members can unlock online content like videos on "how to make a great cup of espresso." In the mid-tier, members get access to exclusive brand merchandise, and at the highest levels, you get to visit the Starbucks roastery and coffee farms in Costa Rica. Note that the program is in beta right now and only available to a select group of customers in the US.

Keeping kids safe in the metaverse

Let’s discuss something serious, folks. We don’t know if you've heard about it, but there are a lot of concerns about child safety in the metaverse. There is no doubt that we're heading toward creating an immersive virtual world, but the builders must also take into account the safety of its residents when creating an environment. In the case of the metaverse, users are obviously not in physical danger, but they can be affected by psychological attacks. Especially impressionable children, who are often the first to adopt new technology and platforms. There have been a lot of reports about child grooming in the metaverse. We’ll not get into details, but you can check out some great pieces here and here. This is not an unsolvable problem, though, and metaverse pioneers are already taking steps to mitigate these grooming incidents. One of the companies that is proactively tackling this problem is Epic Games, the studio behind titles like Fortnite and Rocket League. The company recently unveiled the "Cabined Account" feature in its popular titles. The idea is to create a safe space for minors in these virtual worlds. While this is a great start for promoting child safety in the metaverse, the builders still face a number of challenges, such as false age reporting. Nevertheless, this is a great start, so props to Epic Games.

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