Burger King might have made history by becoming the first major brand to launch its’ own Ethereum-type cryptocurrency in Russia. WhopperCoin will operate on an Ethereum-clone platform called Waves.
WhopperCoin is actually a cryptocurrency-rewards program that allows customers to collect points for each Whopper they buy, CNBC reported. The points take the form of blockchain tokens that are stored in a digital wallet. When a customer collects enough tokens he or she can buy a Whopper.
Users will be able to buy, sell, trade, and transfer WhopperCoin – just like any other cryptocurrency. News stories did not say whether customers can use WhopperCoin to buy any other products at Burger King.
Whoppers are now an Investment???
“Now Whopper is not only burger that people in 90 different countries love – it’s an investment tool as well,” Ivan Shestov; the head of external communications at Burger King Russia, said.
“According to the forecasts, cryptocurrency will increase exponentially in value,” Shestov claimed. “Eating Whoppers now is a strategy for financial prosperity tomorrow.”
It sounds as if Burger King Russia is trying to do an end run around securities regulations by issuing an initial cryptocurrency offering (ICO) instead of a stock. It also seems to be pioneering an interesting concept of rewards points as investments.
Another possibility is that Burger King Russia is trying to get around U.S. sanctions. The U.S. Congress passed; and President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) signed, harsh new sanctions on Russia on 5 August 2017, Reuters reported. Burger King Russia might be hoping that American investors will use WhopperCoin to get around those restrictions.
WhopperCoin coming to App Store and Google Play
A WhopperCoin app is supposed to be available in the App Store and Google Play in September. One wonders whether large American retailers that rely heavily on rewards programs to drive sales; such as Kroger (NYSE: KR), will follow BK’s lead. Kroger; and its archrival Safeway, use rewards points that offer a fuel discount to attract the customers.
It is not clear if WhopperCoin would be accepted by Burger King Franchisees in other countries. It might just be a promotion or experiment in order to test WAVES, and cryptocurrency rewards points.
Another interesting possibility is that WhopperCoin is a publicity stunt designed to get average people to use cryptocurrency by letting them buy something they eat every day with it. If that is the case it might just work, particularly if similar altcoins for fuel or groceries reach the market.