In December 2022, Starbucks made Web3 headlines when it launched its Polygon-based customer loyalty program. Now the global coffee giant is back in Web3 news with the announcement of a new initiative that aims to incentivize the use of reusable cups at Starbucks locations throughout South Korea.
According to the report, customers at Starbucks in Korea will be given “eco-stamps” when they opt to use personal cups for their beverages. The “Eco Tumbler Beverage Coupons” can then be exchanged for limited-edition Polygon-based non-fungible tokens that were created by Korean NFT artist DADAZ and the art platform Print Bakery.
Previously, customers were awarded beverage vouchers for using reusable cups. The latest initiative, which is expected to kick off in January 2024, is an upgraded version of this loyalty rewards program. For launch day, Starbucks will be holding an in-store exhibition at the Starbucks Reserve location in Seoul.
Kimm Beom Soo, Starbucks Korea’s marketing chief, said that the issuance of rare NFTs “will serve as a catalyst for positive changes” in the community “by activating the use of personal cups.” The move is aligned with Starbucks decision to partner with Polygon, a blockchain that prides itself on its eco-friendly Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism.
For now, the Starbucks NFTs are only being rolled out in South Korea. But if the program is successful, it wouldn’t be surprising if it goes global, which would be huge win for Polygon. Worth noting, the price of Polygon’s native cryptocurrency $MATIC has had a nice run recently, up around 33% over the past seven days (as per data from CoinGecko).
South Korea Continues to Be a Leader in Web3
Starbucks decision to wade deeper into Web3 waters could come as a surprise to some, but the fact that the initiative is kicking off in South Korea is not. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered dozens of articles on South Korea making moves in Web3. Here are some of the top headlines from the past two years:
- October 2023. Korean Gaming Giant Partners with Chainlink for Interoperable Web3 Gaming
- August 2023. Polygon Partners with South Korea’s Telecom Giant SKT
- November 2022. The Sandbox Creates New Metaverse Event for Korean Brands
- September 2022. Renault Korea to Offer Digital Experiences in The Sandbox
- July 2022. South Korea’s #1 Bank KEB Hana Enters The Sandbox
- June 2022. Solana Invests $100M in South Korea’s Web3 Industry
- March 2022. South Korea to Invest $186.7 Million in the Metaverse
While some countries have been bearish on crypto and Web3 technologies, that certainly isn’t the case for South Korea. From big investments in the metaverse to this latest program with Starbucks, South Korea is proving to be a major leader and innovator in Web3. Time will tell if its investments pay off. But for now, fans of NFTs and Starbucks in the East Asian nation have reason to celebrate.