American meat producer Oscar Mayer has released what it describes as a cryptocurrency called Bacoin, which can be exchanged for real Oscar Mayer bacon.
It is a currency that is backed by the savory, sizzling breakfast meat popular in American homes. The official website for Bacoin has an exchange rate that updates every hour, and approximately fluctuates between 10 slices and 1 slice of bacon per Bacoin.
People who hold Bacoin are encouraged to play the market, which essentially comes down to checking the website every hour and redeeming the Bacoin for bacon when the exchange rate is at its highest. The exchange rate is automated and there is no actual market behind it – it is not possible to buy Bacoin on an exchange.
While Bacoin is marketed as a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin in the video announcing its release, however, there is little else that suggests Bacoin is a typical cryptocurrency. There is no technical white paper and there are no specifications, which are details that are fundamentally required for any serious cryptocurrency.
In reality, Bacoin is just a digital ledger currency with no blockchain. On the website, it says you can “mine” a random amount of Bacoin by registering, although an attempt to register resulted in nothing. The actual mining process in cryptocurrency typically rewards miners with coins for helping to maintain and secure the blockchain.
Essentially, Bacoin is a sweepstake that randomly rewards users free bacon for registering on their website. When the sweepstake ends on 14 May, so will the Bacoin currency will come to an end as well. Any Bacoin that has been distributed free to registrants will ultimately be exchanged for bacon and taken out of circulation.
Since it is not an actual crypto and has a limited time use as a centralized reward system only valid for this particular sweepstake, it is not possible to hold onto Bacoin long term.
Nevertheless, Bacoin might serve as inspiration for a real bacon-themed cryptocurrency in the future. Years before Oscar Mayer conceived Bacoin, IT worker Kirk Steele developed a real cryptocurrency named Bacoin in 2014, but didn’t get very far with the project. Steele sent a cease and desist letter to Oscar Mayer a week ago, but has now reached a compromise where he will receive some free bacon and the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile for his child.
Ultimately, Kirk Steele could be the biggest winner of the short-lived Bacoin era, as he’ll be the one really bringing home the bacon.
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