Fast food chain Burger King has launched its own cryptocurrency called WhopperCoin in Russia.
It’s a reward scheme which encourages customers to buy its Whopper Sandwich, where every meal purchase will be rewarded with a crypto coin. When you’ve collected enough coins, you’ll be able to use the currency to buy Whoppers.
Russia was until recently considering banning the use of cryptocurrencies but has since softened its stance. Could they be thinking that cryptocurrency is a way for the country to evade US sanctions?
Setting the stage
An app will allow collectors to save, spend and even trade their WhopperCoins.
If the scheme is widely adopted by Burger King customers, soon others brands may adopt cryptocurrency reward schemes.
This is because cryptocurrency could be more attractive than just “points” which can only be used with the issuing company whereas cryptocurrency could be exchanged for national currencies. Already, the chain’s communications chief has called it an “investment tool”.
WhopperCoin, like Bitcoin, could be used by criminals.
Because it’s unregulated, cryptocurrency is a favoured method of payment for hackers, and has been used in money laundering and financing terrorism.
Cryptocurrencies carry risk.
Bitcoin, the biggest, has increased by 700% in value this year alone, and some analysts think a violent market correction isn’t too far off because its rise has not been supported by any economic fundamentals.
What’s more, Burger King can shut down the WhopperCoin at anytime, leading some to dub the scheme as just a marketing stunt.