Burger King has launched its own cryptocurrency in Russia. The WhopperCoin appears to be primarily a way to cut admin costs on a loyalty scheme.
Unlike most blockchain based currencies, you can’t get WhopperCoin by mining. Instead you earn one coin automatically for every rouble you spend buying a Whopper. You can then spend 1,700 Whoppercoins to buy a Whopper, which works out at one free burger for every five-and-a-bit you buy.
The program is being operated by a company called Waves, which appears to be treating it as a promotional tool for the blockchain concept.
The difference between this and normal loyalty points is that the WhopperCoin can be passed on to other people through blockchain transactions, whether sold, traded or gifted. Depending on your viewpoint, that could lead to creative use of virtual financial markets, or a golden opportunity for money laundering.
Rather bafflingly, Burger King’s Russian operation flat out predicts WhopperCoin will “increase exponentially in value” and openly labels it an investment tool. (To say the least, that should NOT be treated as independent financial advice.)