Fast-food brand Burger King has launched its own crypto-currency, called the WhopperCoin, in its Russian branches, with customers able to claim one coin for every rouble (1.3p) they spend on Whopper sandwiches.
Customers can also cash in their amassed WhopperCoins, able to trade 1,700 for a Whopper, which means that at current costs, customers can get a free sandwich after around six purchases. The company has plans to release Apple and Android apps over the next month that will enable people to save, share and trade the contents of their virtual wallet.
The promotion is being powered by crypto-cash startup Waves, which will run the blockchain ledger for the WhopperCoin, tracking who has coins and how they have been traded. Customers will be able to claim their coins by scanning receipts with their smartphone.
“Now, the Whopper is not just a burger loved in more than 90 countries, but also a tool for investment,” said Ivan Shestov, director of communications at Burger King Russia. “Experts predict a rapid increase in the value of crypto-currencies, so eating a Whopper today becomes a reserve for financial well-being tomorrow.”
Waves has produced an initial supply of 1bn WhopperCoins, and are able to produce further supplies if required. The crypto-currency is a stand-alone exchange distinct from Bitcoin, so Burger King will be able to shut down trading if they believe the system is being abused.
“We are pleased that Burger King Russia has chosen Waves as the platform for launching its loyalty program and the release of WhopperCoin,” said Maxim Pertsovsky, business development director at Waves. “We are confident that their decision will encourage the popularity of blockchain technology in Russia, and will also bring its benefits and opportunities to a wide audience.”