Burger King gets its own cryptocurrency: Whoppercoins
Last week, KFC revealed a terrifying VR game to teach people how to fry chicken. Not to be outdone in terms of niche technological trends, Burger King has announced its own cryptocurrency.
I guess that’s one of the advantages of being the only fast-food chain to be run via an autocracy: the Burger King can set the currency himself, without needing to consult Burger Parliament. And the King has done just that, naming his nascent currency after the company’s best-selling product: the Whopper. The company has issued one billion Whoppercoins (a name that must have taken literally minutes to come up with) on the Waves blockchain platform, and Russian diners will receive one Whopper coin for every ruble spent.
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It still functions as a standard cryptocurrency – in that you can trade and transfer your Whoppercoins to anyone else with a digital wallet. But unlike Bitcoin, which currently has a value of £3,372 per coin, Whoppercoin is probably worth considerably less. Not least because Burger King will let you literally eat away your savings by trading in 1,700 Whoppercoins for a Whopper.
(Yes, I am getting fed up of writing the word “Whopper”. Why do you ask?)
That means, by my calculations, with a Whopper costing £4.19 over here, you’re looking at roughly 405.7 Whoppercoins to the pound. The price discrepancy is presumably why Burger King is keeping Whoppercoins to a single country for now – the international exchange rates could wreak havoc with the system, with 76 rubles currently equalling one pound.
“Now [the] Whopper is not only [a] burger that people in 90 different countries love – it’s an investment tool as well,” said Ivan Shestov, Burger King Russia’s head of external communications, in a statement. He somewhat optimistically added that “eating Whoppers now is a strategy for financial prosperity tomorrow”. I think it’s probably unwise to take financial planning advice from the head of Burger King Russia’s external communications, but hey: I’m not an economics professor.
It looks like Burger King wanted to invest in a loyalty card system, and realised it could generate some headlines by adopting a cryptocurrency. Although given that Whoppercoins now have their own dedicated asset page, anything could potentially happen to the fledgling currency. Hopefully the King won’t have to deal with hyperinflation in his Burger fiefdom, lest his royal subjects suffer Burger famines leading to Burger unrest.