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McDonald’s Is Celebrating The Big Mac’s 50th By Launching A Currency (That Gives You Free Food)

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The Big Mac, since it arrived fifty years ago, has become ubiquitous as a mainstay of speedy, beefy goodness. And since its anniversary is coming up, McDonalds felt the need to do something special. So they’re launching a Big Mac-backed currency, the MacCoin.

Thankfully, Mickey D’s is not getting into the blockchain, at least for this promotion. Instead, as USA Today explains, the coin, which will come in five different designs for each decade the Big Mac has been around, is a goof on a not-entirely-serious economic indicator:

The coin idea sprung from the role that the Big Mac has played in measuring purchasing power. In 1986, The Economist started using the Big Mac Index as a way of measuring the purchasing power of international currency. “They use it to this day,” Easterbrook said. “Why not have some fun with it? Create our own currency.”

So starting on August 2nd, in tribute to The Economist’s take on this particular form of monetary power, McDonald’s will be giving out a MacCoin with every Big Mac purchase. The coin is collectible, but it’s also redeemable for a Big Mac between now and the end of 2018, anywhere in the world. In short, for most people, it’s a buy-one-get-one deal which isn’t bad. And, just in case you find yourself really hungry, halfway across the world with no money, we can see the value of keeping a MacCoin or two on your person at all times.

But we kind of wish the Golden Arches would let this economic experiment play out by removing the time limit. The MacCoin has a limited supply, after all, and it is tied to a tangible asset (in this case a delicious burger) that may grow in value over time. Throw in the collector’s market (which will pay absurd amounts of money for even the silliest of things) and you’d have a fascinating test of what matters more: The actual value of an object or its subjective value. Plus, that way, if the entire economy were to tank, at least we would be able to eat Big Macs for years to come. There’s always money in the MacCoin.

(via USA Today)

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