US-based coffee chain Starbucks has announced the launch of Starbucks Odyssey, a new experience that will provide the opportunity for Starbucks Rewards members and partners (employees) in the US to earn and buy digital collectable stamps.

These assets will offer access to new benefits and coffee experiences.

The new Starbucks Odyssey experience is powered by Web3 technology.

Depending on their number of stamps, Starbucks members and partners will be able to access virtual espresso martini-making classes, as well as merchandise and artist collaborations.

Members and staff will also be able to access invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or trips to Costa Rica’s Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm.

With this initiative, Starbucks has become one of the first companies in the industry to integrate NFTs with a loyalty programme at scale.

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The new programme will also allow the company to engage with its members and partners in a new way.

Starbucks executive vice-president and chief marketing officer Brady Brewer said: “Starbucks has always served as the Third Place, a place between home and work where you feel the warmth of connection over coffee, community and belonging.

“The Starbucks Odyssey experience will extend the Third Place connection to the digital world. For the first time, we are connecting our Starbucks Rewards loyalty programme members not just to Starbucks, but to each other.”

The company added that each of its digital collectable stamps will have a value depending upon its rarity. With ownership secured on a blockchain, the stamps can be purchased or sold among members within the marketplace.

Earlier this month, Starbucks named Laxman Narasimhan as its next CEO.

In another development, Starbucks has announced plans to reach nearly 9,000 stores in China by 2025, Reuters reported.

The move will increase Starbucks’ store count in the country by 56%.