Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

Biggest Coffee Chain Starbucks to launch NFT in 2022

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced the company’s plans to get in on the Non-fungible tokens (NFT) space in 2022.

Starbucks is getting into non-fungible tokens this year, interim CEO Howard Schultz said Monday as he addressed the need to reshape the experience for customers and employees alike in engaging with the coffee chain.

The market for NFTs – or blockchain-based tokens that give holders rights to mostly digital representations of music, art, and other collectibles – boomed in 2021, with trading volume soaring to $17.6 billion from just $82 million in 2020, according to a report from Nonfungible.com.

Starbucks coffee
Biggest Coffee Chain Starbucks to launch NFT in 2022 - Starbucks coffee

Among the most popular examples are the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, the CryptoPunk art series, and last year’s sale by auction house Christie’s of an NFT art piece for more than $69 million. Recently UK royal mint also announce their NFTs launch this year.

Starbucks in a statement said that it is working on “digital innovation through NFTs and plans for the continued evolution of partner benefits, with more detail expected in the weeks ahead.”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on NFT Collection

“If you look at the companies, the brands, the celebrities, the influencers, that are trying to create a digital NFT platform and business, I can’t find one of them that has the treasure trove of assets that Starbucks has from collectibles to the entire heritage of the company,” Schultz said. “So, here’s the secret: sometime before the end of this calendar year, we are going to be in the NFT business,” Schultz said.

Just days after he was named interim CEO of the company, Schultz made his NFT announcement as part of a broader address to workers. He took over the position on Monday after Kevin Johnson ended his five-year run.

“Starbucks Experience all over the world is now somewhat confined by the fact that people are not using our stores the same way. And so all those stores that we have that have big lobbies, they may not be as relevant tomorrow as they have been in the past. We have to redefine, redesign our store experience,” Schultz noted.

The Starbucks CEO is also returning at a time when the company was hit by a coronavirus pandemic and was forced to shut down several physical locations worldwide. He said that the company is all set to re-imagine the customer experience.

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