- Burger King launched its own version of bitcoin in Russia - called the "WhopperCoin"
- WhopperCoin tokens would be used to reward customers for each purchase of a Whopper sandwich
- The Russian government seems to have relaxed its stance on cryptocurrencies in recent weeks
Burger King has waded into the cryptocurrency market with the launch of its own virtual coin called "WhopperCoin" in Russia.
With each purchase of the burger chain's signature Whopper sandwich, customers can receive WhopperCoin tokens via a digital wallet.
Bitcoin traders have previously gotten a lot of flak in Russia, with reports last year suggesting users could even face jail time under proposed legislation.
However Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has since shown support for cryptocurrencies. In an interview with Russian media organization RBC, he said: "I am a supporter, a cryptoround (sic) must exist."
WhopperCoin transactions will be powered by Ethereum rival Waves' distributed ledger network. The blockchain platform allows users to issue and transfer custom blockchain tokens, and to trade them on an integrated peer-to-peer exchange.
A blockchain is essentially a ledger of transactions that cannot be tampered with or changed. Such technology has been promised to revolutionize processes from financial trades to legal "smart" contracts.
In a press announcement Friday, Waves said the tokens would be used to reward customers for each purchase of the Whopper, and eventually to buy burgers in exchange for the tokens once a customer has collected enough.
The coins can also be transferred and traded online, allowing customers to either save their rewards or sell them to new buyers.
"Now Whopper is not only burger that people in 90 different countries love – it's an investment tool as well," Ivan Shestov, head of external communications at Burger King Russia said, quoted by Waves.
"According to the forecasts, cryptocurrency will increase exponentially in value. Eating Whoppers now is a strategy for financial prosperity tomorrow."
The restaurant chain is set to release an app for the digital tokens in both the Apple Store and Google Play next month.
Various investors, firms and even governments have been showing an increased interest in digital currencies.
Last week Estonia announced its own aim to launch a state-backed cryptocurrency, called "Estcoin".
Separately in Venezuala, citizens have reportedly been turning to bitcoin to afford basic necessities.
And this month bitcoin hit a fresh record high of more than $4,300 – although the original cryptocoin's blockchain was forced to split in two earlier this month, contributing to concern from some investors.
Ethereum meanwhile reached a near two-month high last Monday, trading at nearly $330.