Burger King launched its own cryptocurrency, WhopperCoin, in Russian markets. Managed by blockchain startup Waves, WhopperCoin is essentially a blockchain-based loyalty rewards program. A customer receives one WhopperCoin for each ruble they spend on whoppers. A free Whopper can be had for 1,700 WhopperCoins. From the BBC News:
Ivan Shestov, head of external communications at Burger King Russia, said the scheme turned the Whopper into an "investment vehicle"...
"I don't imagine McDonald's will be quick to allow someone to pay for a Big Mac with their whoppercoins," (said Dr Garrick Hileman, research fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance). "Burger King's competitors are more likely to accept an independent crypto-currency like bitcoin."
David Gerard is a technically minded, sharp-witted, scathing critic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; his criticism is long, comprehensive and multipartite, but of particular interest is is critique of "proof of work" (an idea that is central to the blockchain, but which many cryptographers are skeptical of).
By design, data placed in the blockchain is visible to everyone in the world and can never be removed; everyone who mines bitcoin makes a copy of the blockchain, and so any illegal content stashed in the blockchain ends up on the computers of every miner.
Cynthia Lee, inspired by a tongue-in-cheek request by Christopher Mims, created a Chrome browser extension that replaces the word “blockchain” with the phrase “mulitple copies of a giant Excel spreadsheet.” WHAT: This is a Chrome browser extension that can help readers contextualize news stories with hype about blockchain technology, by reminding you that blockchain is, […]
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