Burger King is using cryptocurrency as a loyalty program in Russia

1,700 Whoppercoins will net you a free burger.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rather than give you another punch card or plastic loyalty card for your wallet, Burger King has a different idea for rewarding its customers: cryptocurrency. In Russia, The BK Lounge has started issuing Whoppercoins when people buy food. Save enough and you can redeem them for nuggets, burgers and King Bouqets Buckets in the country. A billion Whoppercoin have been issued thus far via the Waves platform, and more will follow if demand does.

"Eating Whoppers now is a strategy for financial prosperity tomorrow," the chain's Ivan Shestov said in one of the best press release quotes ever written. Now I'm wondering if that's just the pen name J. Wellington Wimpy is using, though.

No matter. The press release says that for every rouble spent (59 roubles roughly converts to $1) earns a single Whoppercoin, and free Whoppers are 1,700 Whoppercoins. More than that, if you're of the vegetarian or vegan persuasion, like other cryptocurrencies, you can sell and trade these online. Burger King is expected to release Android and iOS apps to track your collection next month.

Not in Russia? You can monitor the way Whoppercoins are trading online. As of publishing time, there have been 36 transfers. Given that rival McDonald's has Hamburglar on its payroll, maybe Burger King would be wise to up the security here.