Burger King has its own 'whoppercoin' cryptocurrency in Russia

MANILA, Philippines – Fast food chain Burger King has issued its own cryptocurrency or virtual currency in Russia called "whoppercoin," according to an online press release by whoppercoin's blockchain platform, Waves. 

Cryptocurrency, in a nutshell, is any digital currency backed by a digital ledger of transactions monitored and verified by a global network of computers. Instead of banks recording the transactions between individuals, the network of computers called a blockchain verifies the transfers of value, and records the flow of debt and credit. 

Bitcoin is currently the most popular cryptocurrency, hitting record highs of more than $4,300 to a bitcoin in August 2017. The rise has been monumental as of late, considering it took 2 years for the coin to achieve a value of $1 after its introduction in 2009. (READ: A few key facts about Bitcoin)

Its recent spike – although still seen as very volatile – may indicate users' growing trust in the virtual currency, translating to growth in number of users and transactions. Led by bitcoin, cryptocurrencies now have a total market capitalization of $158.5 billion, an 800% increase, year-to-date, Forbes reported. For many, the current eye-popping value is explanation enough: it's something that's not to be ignored.

The dollar value of bitcoin has boosted the reputation not just of the coin itself but of cryptocurrencies in general. In some countries, cryptocurrency has found some footing, reported CNBC. In Estonia, a state-backed cryptocurrency called "estcoin" has been proposed, while in Venezuela, people have been turning to bitcoin because of their native cash's current hyperinflation. 

Burger King Russia joins the fray with whoppercoin, named after their signature burger. 

CNBC, in their whoppercoin report, also noted that Russia has recently softened their stance on cryptos, after initially being against them.

How it works

Whoppercoin's primary function is currency for Burger King Russia's loyalty rewards program. Every ruble (Russia's standard currency) spent equates to one whoppercoin earned. One Whopper burger can be bought for 1,700 whoppercoins. (READ: Malls seized by hungry mobs for 8-peso burger fix)

Like most cryptocurrencies, whoppercoins can be saved and exchanged for traditional cash or other cryptocash, or transferred to other users. 

In the Waves press release, Burger King Russia's external communications head Ivan Shestov went so far as to say that with whoppercoin, "eating Whoppers now is a strategy for financial prosperity tomorrow." 

"Now Whopper is not only [a] burger that people in 90 different countries love – it’s an investment tool as well. According to the forecasts, cryptocurrency will increase exponentially in value. Eating Whoppers now is a strategy for financial prosperity tomorrow." 

As of publication, cryptocurrency listings site Coin Market Cap lists over 865 cryptocurrencies – all of which may or may not increase exponentially in value and could technically be the next Bitcoin. Whoppercoin adds to that list – although it hasn't appeared on Coin Market Watch yet – making it another Bitcoin-hopeful whose value is intrinsically tied to a burger.  

Cryptocurrencies are also still regarded as volatile and are largely unregulated, and should be seen as a very high-risk investment by interested investors. 

Whoppercoin will be powered by the blockchain platform called Waves. Burger King Russia will also release an app for the scheme in both the Apple Store and on Google Play in September.– Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.

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