Burger King restaurants in Venezuela now accept cryptocurrencies, the crypto company Cryptobuyer announced on Monday. Burger King will trial the system at its premises in the Sambil Caracas shopping mall with plans to roll out the system to all of the country’s forty restaurants in 2020.
The initiative is the result of a partnership with Cryptobuyer, the company that makes the point of sale systems that Burger King will use to accept Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, Ethereum, BNB, and Tether.
While this might be good news for fans of the Whopper, Venezuela’s economy is in crisis. The price of a hamburger from the children’s menu costs 132,500 VES ($2.89), or roughly 45 percent of the country’s national minimum wage—300,000 VES ($6.55) once the government’s food bonus is taken into account.
Cryptobuyer CEO Jorge Farias said that Venezuela’s mix of hyperinflation, cash shortages, and ruined banking and communication infrastructure make it a “perfect ground to deploy real-world cryptocurrency solutions.”
The International Monetary Fund estimated that inflation in Venezuela in 2019 reached 200,000 percent—while the economy contracted 35 percent.
Cryptocurrencies aren't faring much better. The payments coin, Dash, for instance, was worth around $80 at the start of 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, it’s worth $42. In December alone, the price of Dash dropped almost twenty percent.
Still, Venezuela is prime territory for crypto companies: the country’s issued a state-rolled crypto, the Petro. Government officials say it’s accepted at nearly 100 stores, and the state announced plans to give away 0.5 petros to eligible citizens, such as retirees, pensioners, public sector workers, military personnel—around five times the monthly minimum wage.
“The factors, in conjunction with the government’s initiative to use cryptocurrency as a payment method, will push use and adoption of these cutting-edge technologies, and we are really proud to lead this push,” said Farias.