Bitcoin is so fevered right now that an iced tea company changed its name to “Long Blockchain” and raked in millions. So really it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to try and get you to eat at a restaurant to “mine” “coins.” The only questions was “Who would be first?”
To which the answer seems to be: Hooters, obvi. Sadly not entitled Hootcoin, Chanticleer, a company that runs several sit-down burger chains and several Hooters franchises, has announced a new cryptocurrency that sounds suspiciously like a rewards program.
It runs on the MobivityMind commerce platform, and will pay out in Merits, a “real” cryptocurrency that’s “leveraging the same infrastructure and principles of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and more,” but is definitely not any of those. It’s also unlikely to ever reach a fraction of their value, but Chanticleer’s CEO Michael Pruitt hints at what diners can expect: “Use your Merit mined by eating at Little Big Burger to get a buffalo chicken sandwich at American Burger Co., or trade them with your vegan friend so he can get a veggie burger at BGR. And that’s just the beginning.”
To be fair, this isn’t the worst idea for a rewards points program. While a blockchain and secure encryption for your burger rewards is a wee bit excessive, the idea of a rewards program as legit currency isn’t a new thing. Just ask Canadian Tire, which has seen its rewards program spiral into a bizarre underground currency not even Canadians really know how to make sense of. Canadian Tire money has paid for musical careers and been part of poorly conceived acts of theft. So we guess Chanticleer has that to look forward to, provided they really do this.
But it would be nice to throw your buddy a burger on your points in exchange for a few bucks. And hey, those points are technically worth something, you just had no way to cash them in, so in theory this is giving them more value. If this catches on, you might find people paying their rent with their Burritocoin, or paying back a friend with Wingcoin.
Or they will buy drugs, offering us funny headlines and thus propping up the drug dealing, food, and wacky headline industries.