Bitcoin has enjoyed a spectacular surge in both popularity and value over the last year, and it seems now to be getting a foothold in the world of fast food. In February, a Burger King restaurant in the city centre of Arnhem decided to start accepting Bitcoin, and not only that, give customers a free Whopper when paying for their meals with the popular cryptocurrency.
The move by Burger King was part of a project in Arnhem, called the Arnhem Bitcoinstad (which translates in English as Arnhem Bitcoincity), focused on expanding the use and acceptance by merchants in the town. The scheme proved to be a great success with Burger King becoming part of over 100 shops including shopping malls, coffee bars and restaurants in Arnhem to accept Bitcoin. In fact, the project has been so successful that some Arnhem merchants no longer convert their Bitcoins to euros, preferring to hold on to them. Arnhem Bitcoinstad commented, “When this project started, all merchants converted their bitcoins to euros immediately through the payment processor BitKassa, but a growing number of merchants now keep their bitcoins, since they can pay some of their supplies with bitcoins themselves at other merchants who accept Bitcoin as well. For instance, a restaurant owner who pays for his bread at a bakery that also accepts Bitcoins”.
Then in August, Burger King made the huge step of introducing its very own version of virtual coin — the Whoppercoin in Russia. Every time a customer purchases a Whopper sandwich, they receive WhopperCoin tokens through a digital wallet. Despite some hostility to cryptocurrency from Russian authorities in the past, Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov recently expressed some support for digital currency, stating “I am a supporter, a crypto round must exist.”
The WhopperCoin exchange is powered by the Waves distributed ledger network. WhopperCoins function as a reward, and can be used to buy burgers once enough had been collected by a customer. It is also possible for customers to trade and transfer WhopperCoins with each other.
And what of Burger King’s main rivals in the fast food market? McDonald's is yet to make any foray into the world of cryptocurrency, so Burger King is clearly well ahead in this respect. But it may not be too soon before McDonald's takes that step, with betting companies offering odds of 1/2 that customers will be able to buy Big Macs and Happy Meals with crypto coins.
Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQnaVK8tbZI