Burger King Announces Blockchain Loyalty System in Russia

International fast-food giant Burger King has announced plans to offer a new loyalty scheme based on bitcoin technology, in one of the first moves of its kind by such a high-profile company.

The scheme, dubbed “WhopperCoin,” realizes one of the many discussed use cases of the blockchain and blockchain tokens — rewarding customer loyalty through the distributed ledger underpinning the technology.

According to posts on the company’s Russian blog, the WhopperCoin initiative will reward users with a token for every ruble spent in store, with 1,700 tokens, or WhopperCoins, redeemable for a free burger at the chain.

Tokens will be collated on a mobile app for iOS and Android users, although the app itself remains in development. A total of one billion WhopperCoins are set to be created, through the Waves platform, and distributed to customers throughout its Russian branches in the near future.

Moving beyond the pure loyalty components of the technology, a spokesman for Burger King Russia pointed to the investment potential of the coin, and what this could mean for their customers in future.

Ivan Shestov, the company’s regional communications director, said that choosing to eat at Burger King today could enable customers to store up value in tokens for tomorrow, almost akin to a financial investment.

“Now, (the Whopper) is not just a burger, which is loved in more than 90 countries, but also a tool for investment. Experts predict a rapid increase in the cost of cryptocurrency. Therefore, eating today — a reserve for financial well-being tomorrow.”

Loyalty schemes have long been discussed as one viable use case for blockchain technology, including the ability to allow transferrable points to follow consumers between different companies in future.

The investment angle to the Burger King proposals is arguably a newer spin on this kind of application, and with the limitations in the number of WhopperCoins, analysts agree it seems feasible that this could represent a store of value in future.

As yet, there is no fixed timetable for the technology being rolled out. However, analysts and competitors alike will be monitoring developments closely, as Burger King ultimately prepares to take its new initiative to market.