Polygon Labs Reportedly Paid $4M to Host Starbucks’ NFT Loyalty Program

The Starbucks Odyssey program, which has been one of the headline blockchain projects by a mainstream company is now shutting down.
Image source: Polygon

Quick take:

  • Starbucks launched its NFT-powered loyalty program in 2022 to a huge reception in the crypto community.
  • The success of the inaugural program led to two more version launches in 2023.
  • However, news recently emerged recently stating the program is set to shut down by the end of March 2024. 

Polygon has been one of the most attractive blockchains for mainstream brands looking to make their foray into Web3. From Reddit and its digital collectible avatars to Starbucks’ NFT loyalty program, these are some of the projects that headlined Polygon’s growth story into one of the leading dApp platforms in 2022 and 2023.

Come 2024, some reports are coming out to put a twist to the story. According to CoinDesk, the layer-2 Ethereum scaling protocol paid Starbucks $4 million to host the restaurant chain’s crypto projects.

This report comes out just days after it emerged that Starbucks is making an exit from the crypto space with its famed Starbucks Odyssey NFT Loyalty Program set to shut down by the end of March 2024.

According to one of the sources cited in the report, “the payout ended a competitive hunt by proponents of at least three blockchain ecosystems who wanted to partner with Starbucks.”

The deal was reportedly part of Polygon’s growth strategy, which involved sealing flashy partnerships with some of the leading consumer brands.

However, a source familiar with Polygon Labs’ current thinking suggests the company has since changed its strategy of relying on flashy deal announcements to focus on building innovative tech.

Starbucks’ inaugural NFT collections demonstrated success leading to two more NFT collection launches in 2023. The third and final launch, dubbed “The Green Apron” NFT collection dropped in July last year.

However, 18 months after the launch, the company announced it would be shutting down the Odyssey program in order to “prepare for upcoming developments as the program evolves.”

This came following a statement on X by Steve Kaczynski, the community lead for Starbucks Odyssey stating that he had lost his job amid the planned closure of the program. “Starbucks has decided to sunset Odyssey. There’s a ton of uncertainty about my future now because I just lost my full-time job,” Kaczynski wrote.


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